For a study, researchers sought to examine a wide range of cytokines in the noses of children and adults with asthma during RV infection to identify immunophenotypes that might be linked to virus-induced episodes. Nasal wash specimens were collected from children (n=279 [healthy, n=125; stable asthma, n=64; wheeze, n=90], ages 2–12, who presented to a hospital emergency department, as well as adults (n=44 [healthy, n=13; asthma, n=31], ages 18–38), who were experimentally infected with RV, including a subset who received anti-IgE. Multiplex bead assays were used to measure cytokines, and data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate methods to test relationships to viral load, allergic status, airway inflammation, and clinical outcomes. A core set of 7 cytokines (IL-6, CXCL8/IL-8, IL-15, EGF, G-CSF, CXCL10/IP-10, and CCL22/MDC) were found to be higher in children with acute wheeze compared to those with stable asthma or controls. Multivariate analysis revealed 2 clusters enriched for acutely wheezing children: one with high viral load (“RV-high”) and robust CXCL10 secretion, and the other with high IgE and elevated EGF, CXCL8, and both eosinophil- and neutrophil-derived mediators. A broader analysis of 39 cytokines confirmed that children with acute wheeze did not have a lack of type 1 anti-viral responses. An analysis of 18 nasal cytokines in adults with asthma who received RV challenge revealed 2 clusters: 1 that was “RV-high” and associated with robust induction of anti-viral cytokines and anti-IgE, and the other that was associated with more severe symptoms and a higher inflammatory state involving eosinophil and neutrophil factors. The findings confirm the presence of various immunophenotypes linked to airway disease parameters in both children and adults with asthma who were infected with RV. These disparities might reflect the ability to control anti-viral responses.
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