chapter  4
10 Pages

Role of Viral Infection in the Inception of Asthma

The role of viral infection in the inception of asthma is not well understood. The empirical observation of a temporal association between an acute lower respiratory illness (LRI) attributed to viruses and the subsequent development of persistent or recurrent episodes of airway obstruction has suggested to many clinicians and patients a causal relationship. There is what is termed proof of concept for this potential deleterious effect of viruses in the confirmed role of adenoviral infection as a cause of bronchiolitis obliterans in early life (1). This has suggested the possibility that this same role may be played by other viruses and, by analogy with bronchiolitis obliterans, by those that are more frequently observed during the first years of life.