While the number and types of indoor air pollutants is rising, much is suspected but little is known about the impact of their potentially synergistic interactions, upon human health. Gases, particulate matter, organic compounds, but also allergens and viruses, fall within the ‘pollutant’ definition. Distinct populations, such as children and allergy and asthma sufferers are highly susceptible, while a low socioeconomic background is a further susceptibility factor; however, no specific guidance is available. We spend most of our time indoors; for children, the school environment is of paramount importance and potentially amenable to intervention. The interactions between some pollutant classes have been studied; for example, respiratory viral infection induces hyperresponsiveness to allergens, as well as irritants. However, a lot is missing in respect to understanding interactions between specific pollutants of different classes in terms of concentrations, timing, and sequence, to improve targeting and upgrade standards. SynAir-G is a European Commission-funded project aiming to reveal and quantify synergistic interactions between different pollutants affecting health, from mechanisms to real-life, focusing on the school setting. It will develop a comprehensive and responsive multipollutant monitoring system, advance environmentally friendly interventions, and disseminate the generated knowledge to relevant stakeholders in accessible and actionable formats.
Background: From early life, respiratory viruses are implicated in the development, exacerbation and persistence of respiratory conditions such as asthma. Complex dynamics between microbial communities and host immune responses, shape immune maturation and homeostasis, influencing health outcomes. We evaluated the hypothesis that the respiratory virome is linked to systemic immune responses, using peripheral blood and nasopharyngeal swab samples from preschool-age children in the PreDicta cohort. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 51 children (32 asthmatics, 19 healthy controls), participating in the 2-year multinational PreDicta cohort were cultured with bacterial (Bacterial-DNA, LPS) or viral (R848, Poly:IC, RV) stimuli. Supernatants were analyzed by Luminex for the presence of 22 relevant cytokines. Virome composition was obtained using untargeted high troughput sequencing of nasopharyngeal samples. The metagenomic data were used for the characterization of virome profiles and the presence of key viral families (Picornaviridae, Anelloviridae, Siphoviridae). These were correlated to cytokine secretion patterns, identified through hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis. Results: High spontaneous cytokine release was associated with increased presence of Prokaryotic virome profiles and reduced presence of Eukaryotic and Anellovirus profiles. Antibacterial responses did not correlate with specific viral families or virome profile, however, low antiviral responders had more Prokaryotic and less Eukaryotic virome profiles. Anelloviruses and Anellovirus-dominated profiles were equally distributed amongst immune response clusters. The presence of Picornaviridae and Siphoviridae was associated with low interferon-λ responses. Asthma or allergy did not modify these correlations. Conclusions: Antiviral cytokines responses at a systemic level reflect the upper airway virome composition. Individuals with low innate interferon responses have higher abundance of Picornaviruses (mostly Rhinoviruses) and bacteriophages. Bacteriophages, particularly Siphoviridae appear to be sensitive sensors of host antimicrobial capacity, while Anelloviruses are not affected by TLR-induced immune responses.
This systematic review evaluates the potential therapeutic options for desensitization of patients with IgE-mediated tree nut allergy, focusing, but not limited to, on immunotherapy. We searched three bibliographic databases for studies published until July 2022 for active treatments of IgE-mediated allergy to tree nuts (walnut, hazelnut, pistachio, cashew, and almond) with allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) using oral (OIT), sublingual (SLIT), epicutaneous (EPIT) or subcutaneous (SCIT) delivery, or with other disease-modifying treatments. We included 26 studies, but the heterogeneity of the studies prevented pooling and meta-analysis. Immunotherapy with hazel pollen extracts might benefit patients with a secondary nut allergy due to cross-reactivity with PR-10 or profilin panallergens but is unlikely to be beneficial in patients with a severe nut allergy caused by seed storage proteins. Sublingual immunotherapy has a moderate efficacy but a favorable safety profile. Oral immunotherapy (OIT), single, or multi-nut, with or without omalizumab, is the most studied approach. In general, tree nut OIT is effective in conferring protection from accidental exposures, with safety similar to that demonstrated by peanut OIT. The observed cross-desensitization between tree nuts straightly affects the management options for multi-nut allergic patients.
Background: The impact of physical activity (PA) on immune response is a hot topic in exercise immunology, but studies involving asthmatic children are scarce. We examine the level of PA and TV attendance (TVA) in asthmatic children to assess the role on asthma control and immune response to various stimulants. Methods: Weekly PA and daily TVA were obtained from questionnaires at inclusion of the PreDicta study. PBMC cultures were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA), R848, poly I:C and zymosan. Cytokines were measured and quantified in cell culture supernatants using luminometric multiplex immunofluorescence beads-based assay. Results: Asthmatic preschoolers showed significantly more TVA than their healthy peers (58.6% vs. 41.5% 1-3h daily and only 25.7% vs. 47.2% ≤ 1h daily). Poor asthma control was associated with less frequent PA (75% no or occasional activity in uncontrolled vs. 20% in controlled asthma; 25% ≥ 3x weekly vs. 62%). Asthmatics with increased PA exhibited elevated cytokine levels in response to stimulants, suggesting a readiness of circulating immune cells for type-1, -2 and -17 cytokine release compared to low-PA and high-TVA subjects. Low PA and high TVA were associated with increased proinflammatory cytokines. Proinflammatory cytokines were correlating with each other in in-vitro immune responses of asthmatic children, but not healthy controls. Conclusion: Asthmatic children show more sedentary behavior than healthy subjects, while poor asthma control leads to a decrease in PA. Asthmatic children profit from exercise, as elevated cytokine levels in stimulated conditions indicate an immune system prepared for a strong response in case of infection.
Background: The interplay between COVID-19 pandemic and asthma in children is still unclear. We evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on childhood asthma outcomes. Methods: The PeARL multinational cohort included 1,054 children with asthma and 505 non-asthmatic children aged between 4-18 years from 25 pediatric departments, from 15 countries globally. We compared the frequency of acute respiratory and febrile presentations during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between groups and with data available from the previous year. In children with asthma, we also compared current and historical disease control. Results: During the pandemic, children with asthma experienced fewer upper respiratory tract infections, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits, hospital admissions, asthma attacks and hospitalizations due to asthma, in comparison to the preceding year. Sixty-six percent of asthmatic children had improved asthma control while in 33% the improvement exceeded the minimal clinically important difference. Pre-bronchodilatation FEV1 and peak expiratory flow rate were improved during the pandemic. When compared to non-asthmatic controls, children with asthma were not at increased risk of LRTIs, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits or hospitalizations during the pandemic. However, an increased risk of URTIs emerged. Conclusion: Childhood asthma outcomes, including control, were improved during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, probably because of reduced exposure to asthma triggers and increased treatment adherence. The decreased frequency of acute episodes does not support the notion that childhood asthma may be a risk factor for COVID-19. Furthermore, the potential for improving childhood asthma outcomes through environmental control becomes apparent.