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עמוד בית
Wed, 24.07.24

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February 2000
Itamar Offer, MD, Shai Ashkenazi, MD, Gilat Livni, MD and Itamar Shalit, MD

Background: Bronchiolitis caused by respiratory syncytial virus is one of the major causes of hospitalization in young children, especially during the winter.  Recent evidence has shown that pharmacological treatment, especially nebulized epinephrine, in addition to the traditional supportive treatment, can alleviate symptoms and shorten hospitalization, but this approach is not yet widespread.

Objectives: To determine whether the management of bronchiolitis in Israel is moving toward a stronger emphasis on pharmacological care.

Methods: A questionnaire on the diagnosis and management of bronchiolitis was completed by 27 heads of pediatric departments throughout Israel.  The questionnaire dealt with the frequency of usage of diagnostic and selected therapeutic procedures.

Results: Chest X-ray and arterial blood gases are commonly used as a diagnostic aid in more than 75% of the departments, and antibiotics are prescribed routinely in 24%.  Corticosteroids are still in use: 48% use systemic steroids, and 19% nebulized steroids.  Nebulized epinephrine is used in 22% of the departments, while nebulized beta-agonists are used frequently in two-thirds of the departments.

Conclusions: Despite convincing data that beta-agonists and steroids have no positive effect on the outcome of bronchiolitis on the one hand, and that nebulized epinephrine has advantages in children on the other, we found significant use of the former two agents and sparse use of the latter.  Greater awareness is needed among pediatricians, and measures should be introduced to incorporate the new recommendations, with further study of the effect of the old and new drugs on bronchiolitis.

 

Yael Levy MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD, Sivan Lieberman MD and Yehuda L. Danon MD

Background: According to studies from different countries, the prevalence of natural rubber latex sensitization in healthcare workers ranges from 2.9 to 17%.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of NRL-specific IgE antibodies in healthcare workers in Israel.

Methods: Three hundred healthcare workers, mostly from a major pediatric tertiary care facility, and 15 non-healthcare workers completed a questionnaire on signs and symptoms of NRL allergy and other respiratory and food allergies. NRL-specific IgE antibodies were assayed with the DPC AlaSTAT-ELISA method.

Results: Seventy of the 300 workers (23.3%) reported symptoms of NRL allergy: hand eczema and pruritus in 63, upper respiratory tract and ocular symptoms in 10, shortness of breath in 2, and generalized rash in 6. None had anaphylaxis due to latex exposure. There was a significant correlation of symptoms of NRL allergy with atopy and job category (nurses, laboratory technicians, nurse assistants and dental medicine workers), but not with gender, age, or years of employment. The in vitro tests for specific IgE antibodies against NRL were positive (≥0.70 IU/ml) in five workers (1.66%).

Conclusions: This is the first study of the prevalence of NRL-specific IgE antibodies in healthcare workers in Israel. Our 1.66% sensitization rate is much lower than that reported for healthcare workers in other countries. This difference may be due to our inclusion of a study population with a relatively low exposure to latex gloves (pediatricians compared to surgeons). Further studies are needed in this and other high risk populations in Israel.  

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NRL = natural rubber latex

Ravit Arav-Boger MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD, Michael Gdalevich MD, Dani Cohen PhD and Yehuda L. Danon MD

Background: There is an increasing number of reports of pertussis among older children and adults. The development and licensure of an acellular pertussis vaccine offer the possibility of adult vaccination against the disease. Information on immunity to pertussis in this age group is needed before any vaccination policy can be considered.

Objectives: To study the seroepidemiology of pertussis antibodies in a random sample of adolescents.

Methods: Serum IgG antibodies to whole-cell lysate of Bordetella pertussis were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in sera of 533 Israeli military recruits aged 17–18 years. Epidemiologic variables were collected by a questionnaire and analyzed for correlation with pertussis antibodies.  

Results: Of the sera tested 58.6% were positive for pertussis IgG antibodies, while 35.4% were negative and 6% were borderline. The seropositivity rate was significantly higher among females and non-smokers than among males and smokers. Serum samples of subjects found negative to Bordetella pertussis on recruitment were tested again, using the same ELISA assay, 2–3 years later.  Seroconversion during the 3 year military service was detected in 12.5% of 40 subjects. Using the pertussis toxin as the antigen in a subsample of 160 sera, the seroprevalence was lower than that detected by the whole-cell lysate on the same sera (45% vs. 58%).

Conclusions: A significant part of the adolescent population in Israel has low titer of serum IgG antibodies to the multiple antigens of B. pertussis. The relatively low concentration of anti-pertussis antibodies, together with the serological evidence of exposure to the disease indicates that booster immunization with the acellular pertussis vaccine of military recruits should be considered after more information on the incidence of clinical cases of pertussis will be available.

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ELISA = enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

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