The major cause of bronchiolitis in infants, and not infrequently the major cause of subsequent chronic asthma in these children, has been the topic of recent exciting research at Washington University.
The culprit – RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) – seems to succeed because is elicits such a strong inflammatory response in the airways of its tiny victims that they never fully recover.
In the past efforts have been made to try to reduce this inflammation by the use of both inhaled and systemic steroids; however, neither of these have been of any benefit.
Because the antibiotic Zithromax is known to reduce inflammation in adults with COPD and bronchiecstasis, the Washington University researchers decided to try it in RSV. Their study compared the use of Zithromax to placebo in infants with RSV. The outcome was dramatic. The children who received the Zithromax were more than 50 percent less likely to develop chronic asthma than the control group.
This correlated with the fact that the Zithromax group had much lower levels of inflammation in laboratory tests than the control group.