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Air pollutant may increases asthma attack in urban children

Air pollutant may increases asthma attack in urban children

Viral respiratory infections are a typical cause of asthma attacks. Thisinvolve a worsening of the inflammation and a narrowing of the bronchial airways. Nevertheless, non-viral causes of asthma attacks are also possible.

Asthma attacks are more likely to occur when people are exposed to more air pollutants. However, the molecular mechanisms by which air pollutants might cause asthma attacks are poorly understood.

A recent study found that children living in metropolitan areas were more likely to experience asthma attacks. Due to exposure to greater levels of air pollutants, specifically ozone and fine particle matter. The most frequent cause of asthma attacks is viral respiratory infections. However nonviral variables including air pollution can also contribute to an asthma attack’s onset.

According to a recent study, children who live in urban areas are more likely to experience asthma episodes. Also, their lung function declines when air pollution levels are higher. Particularly when ozone and fine particulate matter concentrations are high.

Researchers found that these air pollutants could cause asthma attacks. Even when their concentrations were below the threshold set by the federal government for air quality.

The researchers also found that elevated ozone and fine particulate matter were linked to particular inflammatory pathways in the airways. Providing further insight into how elevated levels of pollutants may raise the likelihood of asthma episodes in urban children.

Asthma attacks: What to know

The primary airways in the lungs, the bronchi, and their branching, become inflamed and constricted in people with asthma. Chest constriction, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing are among asthmatic symptoms. They tend to get worse while the condition is exacerbating.

The lung airways are further constricted during an asthma exacerbation. Sometimes referred to as an asthma attack, as a result of the airway cells’ inflammation and the bronchial muscles’ spasm. Moreover, there is an increase in mucus production at the same time, which obstructs the airways.

One of the most frequent reasons for asthma flare-ups in both children and adults is respiratory tract viral infections. However, non-viral factors including allergens, pollen, and pet hair, as well as non-viral diseases, can also contribute to an asthma exacerbation.

Also, a number of epidemiological studies have linked the frequency of asthma attacks and air pollution levels. Asthma attacks have been connected to higher concentrations of a number of air pollutants. This including fine particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide.

One of the most prevalent chronic diseases in children is asthma. Also, research indicates that children who live in low socioeconomic and urban neighbourhoods have greater asthma prevalence and morbidity rates. These communities typically have higher air pollution levels. This may help to explain why asthma is more common and severe in children living in low-income metropolitan regions.

Yet, particularly in sensitive populations like children with severe asthma, the molecular pathways behind asthma exacerbation during non-viral respiratory infections are poorly known. Also, the variations in the mechanisms behind asthma flare-ups brought on by viral infections and airborne contaminants have not been defined.

Impact of air pollutants on asthma

In the current study, the researchers first looked at the relationship between air pollution levels and asthma flare-ups in kids and teenagers living in metropolitan areas. Data from an earlier observational trial titled “Mechanisms Behind Asthma Exacerbations Prevented and Sustained with Immune-based Treatment Part 1” was analysed by the researchers.

The current study’s objective was to particularly comprehend the molecular basis of non-viral asthma exacerbations brought on by air pollution using the MUPPITS1 data.

208 children with asthma who were prone to exacerbations and lived in low-income areas of nine American cities were enrolled in the MUPPITS1 study. Following the onset of respiratory illness symptoms in these subjects, the study took measurements of lung function and nose swabs.

The nasal samples were utilised by the researchers to identify whether non-viral or viral infections were to blame for the respiratory ailment. They further divided the subjects into groups according to whether or not an asthma exacerbation occurred when they were unwell.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collected data on specific pollutant concentrations and the Air Quality Index for each study region. The researchers then used this information.

The researchers reported that the Air Quality Index values were higher nine days before and after the beginning of symptoms in participants with a non-viral asthma exacerbation than those with a viral asthma exacerbation. The participants who had non-viral asthma exacerbations also showed a negative correlation between the Air Quality Index values and lung function.

Profile of gene expression

The nasal samples from the MUPPITS1 investigation were then used by the researchers to analyse variations in gene expression.

In both viral and non-viral asthma exacerbations, the Air Quality Index was associated with common gene expression patterns. Pointing to the existence of fundamental processes underlying asthma attacks. Moreover, changes in the gene expression profile that were unique to non-viral asthma exacerbations were linked to Air Quality Index levels.

It was found that fine particulate matter concentrations were directly correlated with an increase in genes. It is linked to excessive mucus secretion and proinflammatory cytokines, a class of signalling proteins, in non-viral asthma exacerbations.

The expression of tissue kallikreins, a class of enzymes involved in inflammation and increased in asthma, was positively linked with fine particulate matter concentrations.

The majority of the respiratory tract is lined by epithelial cells. They shield the respiratory system from allergens, pathogenic agents, and debris that can injure it when inhaled. The expression of genes related to epithelial cell barrier function was also correlated with the amounts of fine particulate matte

According to researchers, the greater asthma prevalence and morbidity in children living in urban centres may be explained. Due to the molecular pathways implicated in asthma exacerbations linked to certain air contaminants.

Identifying the molecular pathways that are unique to asthma flare-ups brought on by increased levels of air pollution may potentially aid in the development of therapies that target these pathways.

Moreover, using air filters during periods of high air pollution and using personal air quality monitoring equipment may help reduce the risk of asthma flare-ups related to air pollution. The study was observational in nature, and the authors noted that it did not prove a connection between air pollution and the frequency of asthma attacks.


To better prevent and treat asthma in these patients, it is concluded that more research is required to understand the underlying processes of the connection.

Although initiatives like selective planting around school playgrounds could help limit exposure among this vulnerable demographic, air pollution in underdeveloped areas has also been linked to impaired cognitive capacities in youngsters.


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Top treatment options for Lower respiratory tract infection

Top treatment options for Lower respiratory tract infection

Infections of the lower respiratory tract (LRTI), which include the trachea and alveolar sacs, damage the airways (below the level of the larynx).

There are numerous methods to describe LRTI. Acute bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and influenza are examples of acute infections that affect the airways, while pneumonia is an example of an acute infection that affects the alveolar sacs.

The most frequent causes of infections are the microscopic organisms known as bacteria or viruses. They are spread between people through coughing, sneezing, and occasionally by coming into indirect contact with surfaces in the form of microscopic droplets.

Antibodies are typically produced by infected individuals to combat the virus. If re-infected, the antibodies aid in fighting the same strain of illness. The body produces new antibodies in response to viruses’ ability to modify their appearance and manifest in many strains. These germs can occasionally progress to produce an LRTI.

Types of lower respiratory infections

The windpipe, big airways of the lungs, tiny airways of the lungs, and air sacs of the lungs make up the lower respiratory tract. The lower respiratory system plays a crucial role in the blood’s ability to receive oxygen. The lower respiratory tract may contract viruses and occasionally bacteria during the winter months. Several distinct lower respiratory illnesses are caused as a result of this.

A typical respiratory tract infection is bronchitis. It is described as an inflammation of the lung’s major airways. Although bronchitis can afflict people of any age, it often affects older children and adults. Bronchitis sufferers compare their condition to having a chest cold.

An infection of the lungs’ air sacs is known as pneumonia. Pneumonia can affect anyone at any age, but it can be particularly dangerous for infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Pneumonia can have a variety of symptoms and a number of different causes.

Inflammation of the lungs’ tiny airways is known as bronchiolitis. Infants and toddlers under the age of two are more likely to contract this illness. During the fall and winter, bronchiolitis is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in young children.

Causes of lower respiratory infections

Viruses that enter the respiratory tract are the main cause of lower respiratory tract infections. The next most prevalent cause is bacteria.

  • The two viruses that cause bronchitis most frequently are influenza and the rhinovirus (which causes the common cold).
  • Depending on the age group, a virus or bacteria may be the most frequent cause of pneumonia.
  • The rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human metapneumovirus are the most frequent causes of bronchiolitis.

In recent years, lower respiratory tract infections and occasionally pneumonia have been linked to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Symptoms of lower respiratory infections

Lower respiratory tract infection symptoms might vary depending on the infection’s severity. Common cold symptoms can also occur in less serious infections, such as:

  • a congested or runny nose
  • dried-up cough
  • minimal fever
  • minor throat discomfort
  • chronic headache

Symptoms of more serious illnesses can include:

  • a phlegmy cough that is extremely bad
  • fever
  • having trouble breathing
  • skin with a blue tint
  • quickly breathing
  • a chest ache
  • wheezing


A lower respiratory infection is typically identified by a doctor during an examination after talking to the patient about their symptoms and how long they have been present.

Using a stethoscope, the doctor will monitor the patient’s respiration and chest during the examination. In order to diagnose the issue, the doctor could request tests like these:

  • Using pulse oximetry, one may determine the blood’s oxygen content.
  • X-rays of the chest to look for pneumonia
  • blood tests to look for viruses and germs
  • examining mucous samples for viruses and germs


Some infections of the lower respiratory system resolve on their own. These less severe viral infections can be treated at home with:

  • drugs available without a prescription for a cough or fever
  • a plenty of sleep
  • consuming a lot of liquids

A doctor might recommend extra treatment in other situations. This could involve breathing treatments like an inhaler or medicines for bacterial infections.

  • A person could occasionally require a hospital visit to obtain IV fluids, antibiotics, or breathing assistance.
  • Infants and very young children may require more care than older kids or healthy adults.

Infants with a higher risk of serious infections, such as premature infants or infants with congenital heart defects, are frequently monitored extra carefully by doctors. A doctor may be more likely to advise hospitalisation in these circumstances.

Patients 65 years of age and older, as well as those with compromised immune systems, may potentially benefit from the same kind of treatment, according to doctors.


Lower respiratory tract infections that are not difficult are completely curable in the majority of healthy people. Complications, however, could have long-term consequences.

People with other medical issues, seniors over 65, and young children under 5 are at the greatest risk for complications. These people can take precautions to avoid lower respiratory infections and seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms.


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