Association of Pharmacy
Technicians UK (APTUK)
The Professional Leadership Body for Pharmacy Technicians

Respiratory pathogens – especially respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and parainfluenza – seem to increase the risk of treatment failure in children with moderate or severe asthma exacerbations who need emergency treatment.

A Canadian study found that of 958 children aged from one to 17 years, 61.7 per cent tested positive for at least one respiratory pathogen – usually rhinovirus (isolated from 29.4 per cent of children). Treatment failure, which was experienced by 16.9 per cent of children, was defined as hospital admission for asthma, treatment in the emergency department lasting eight hours or more after corticosteroids, or a relapse within 72 hours of discharge that led to hospital admission or a prolonged stay in casualty.

The presence of a pathogen was not associated with asthma severity at baseline but the risk of treatment failure was significantly higher in those children infected with a respiratory pathogen than those who were not (20.7 and 12.5 per cent respectively). Nonrhinovirus pathogens, in particular, increased the risk of treatment failure by 13.1 per cent overall, and by 8.8 per cent for RSV, 24.9 per cent for influenza and 34.1 per cent for parainfluenza.

“This is the first time we have been able to disentangle the risk of non-response to asthma treatment with the presence of specific viruses – specifically, influenza and rhinovirus,” said author Caroline Quach, associate professor of microbiology and infectious diseases at Montreal University.

“The more than 20 per cent higher absolute risk of treatment failure in flu cases is very significant. Influenza is the only respiratory virus that is vaccine-preventable. Granted, it is at best only 50 per cent efficacious, but that is no reason for children with asthma not to get vaccinated yearly [in the autumn] before the flu season starts.”

(Paediatrics DOI:10.1542/ peds.2017-4105)

• Spiriva (tiotropium) Respimat is now available as an add-on maintenance bronchodilator for patients aged at least six years with severe asthma who experienced at least one severe asthma exacerbation in the past year.

Originally Published by Pharmacy Magazine

Related articles

The NMS and hypertension: the way forward for pharmacy?

A study into the management of hypertension through the new medicine service offers some pointers as to the direction of...

Scenario: Cannabidiol

Technician Kellie is telling pharmacist Parveen about when her grandmother asked her to get some cannabis... 

CPPE: Putting in firm foundations

CPPE’s foundation pharmacist training pathway is now open for bookings for commencement in November 2018

More articles

A day in the life of a Homecare Pharmacy Technician

I am Diane Meech, I work as the Principal Pharmacy Technician in the role of Homecare Lead, at the Royal Brompton Hospit...

Celebrating the essential role of the Pharmacy Technician

For this #RXTechday, I'd like to celebrate with all my technician colleagues far and wide by saying, "Well done, keep up...

Did you know that you can use the APTUK website to store your CPD records indefinitely?

Follow the easy steps below to help you write and save your records, ready for you when you need to submit them to GPhC ...



This website is for healthcare professionals, people who work in pharmacy and pharmacy students. By clicking into any content, you confirm this describes you and that you agree to Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK)'s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

We use essential, performance, functional and advertising cookies to give you a better web experience. Find out how to manage these cookies here. We also use Interest Based Advertising Cookies to display relevant advertisements on this and other websites based on your viewing behaviour. By clicking "Accept" you agree to the use of these Cookies and our Cookie Policy.