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Synagis reduces recurrent wheeze.

Children who develop respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract infections before 1 year of age have recurrent wheezing rates of 25-80% greater than uninfected children up to 11 years later. During a recent presentation at IDSA, Synagis (humanised anti-RSV monoclonal antibody) was proven to reduce recurrent wheeze by 50% in preterm infants with no family history of asthma. This may be an additional benefit of using Synagis prophylactically during the first 6 months of life to the previously proven 78% reduction in RSV hospitalisation in children born prematurely, 39% reduction in children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and 45% reduction in children with congenital heart disease.

The recently presented study investigated whether the use of Synagis in preventing early RSV disease would decrease recurrent wheeze in early childhood. Synagis was given prophylactically to 191 of the 421 preterm infants. All infants were prospectively followed up for 24 months for recurrent wheezing (3 or more episodes of wheezing in a year, not necessarily documented by a physician) and physician-diagnosed recurrent wheezing.

In the Synagis-treated group, 13.1% of infants developed recurrent wheeze versus 25.7% in the untreated group, which equated to a 49% relative risk reduction in recurrent wheeze (p = 0.001). The physician-diagnosed rates of recurrent wheeze were 7.9% in the Synagis-treated group versus 16.1% in the untreated group, which equated to a very similar relative risk reduction of 51% (p = 0.011). Synagis-treated infants also demonstrated a significantly longer time to onset of both recurrent wheeze and physician-diagnosed recurrent wheeze.

This study showed that RSV plays a role in recurrent wheeze and indicates that Synagis may reduce subsequent recurrent wheeze in children without a family history of asthma.

Enquiries: Bernice Grusd, Abbott, tel (011) 858-2000. References available on request.
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Title Annotation:Pulse: the heartbeat of the marketplace
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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