Babies Cold Recovery All in The Nose

Geneva, Babies who are born with a wide variety

of bacteria in their nose are more likely to recover quickly from their first

cold, research suggests.

The common cold is caused by a virus, but scientists want to

understand how such illnesses are affected by natural bacteria in the

respiratory tract.

The study may also indicate why infants who suffer from lots of

colds are more at risk of developing asthma later on.

“The respiratory tract is home to a wide variety of bacteria and we are

beginning to understand that the types and numbers of these bacteria

– what we refer to as the microbiota – can influence our respiratory

health,” said Dr. Roland P Neumann from University Children’s

Hospital, Basel.

Researchers based their results on swabs taken from 167


The swabs were taken as soon as the infants developed the first

signs of a cold – and then again three weeks later.

Scientists analysed the swabs by testing for the presence of

respiratory viruses, such as the common cold, and for the types and

numbers of different bacteria present.

Researchers also considered other factors which can affect

respiratory health, including the time of year and the baby’s age at the

point of their first cold, whether the infant had siblings or attended

nursery, and whether they were regularly exposed to cigarette smoke.

The study, published in ERJ Open Research, suggests that

babies who have a wide variety of different bacteria living in their nose

tend to recover more quickly from their first respiratory virus.

By comparison, those who have less variety and more bacteria

from either the Moraxellaceae or Streptococcaceae family recover more


Previous studies have shown a similar link between bacteria

found in these family groups and the development of respiratory

disease in adulthood.

Researchers have suggested two possible explanations for the

link between nose-dwelling bacteria and respiratory infection. The

presence of certain bacteria causes inflammation and worsens


A more diverse set of bacteria offers some protective effect

against respiratory infection

The research was part of a larger study that is following a group

of babies from birth to investigate the complex interactions of genetic

and environmental factors and their influence on lung health, the BBC

news reported.

Source: Oman News Agency