Immune biomarkers predicting bronchiolitis disease severity: A systematic review

David Hancock, Elena Cavallaro, Elizabeth Doecke, B Charles-Britton, Molly Reynolds, Dani Dixon, Kevin Forsyth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Bronchiolitis is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in infancy, with highly variable clinical presentations ranging from mild disease safely managed at home to severe disease requiring invasive respiratory support. Identifying immune biomarkers that can predict and stratify this variable disease severity has important implications for clinical prognostication/disposition. A systematic literature search of the databases Embase, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, and Wiley Online Library was performed. English language studies that assessed the association between an immune biomarker and bronchiolitis disease severity among children aged less than 24 months were included. 252 distinct biomarkers were identified across 90 studies. A substantial degree of heterogeneity was observed in the bronchiolitis definitions, measures of disease severity, and study designs. 99 biomarkers showed some significant association with disease severity, but only 18 were significant in multiple studies. However, all of these candidate biomarkers had comparable studies that reported conflicting results. Conclusion: The heterogeneity among included studies and the lack of a consistently significant biomarker highlight the need for consensus on bronchiolitis definitions and severity measures, as well as further studies assessing their clinical utility both in isolation and in combination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalPaediatric respiratory reviews
Early online dateDec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Biomarkers
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Disease severity
  • Systematic review


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