The mechanism by which severe bronchiolitis can result in the development of recurrent childhood wheeze is unclear. However, mucosal inflammation and immune activation may play a major role. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 has been highlighted as a possible therapeutic target for both the treatment of bronchiolitis and the prevention of subsequent airway hyperresponsiveness. The aim of this pilot study was to examine PGE2 in the airways of infants hospitalised with bronchiolitis. Nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) were collected from 18 infants within 12 hours of admission and assayed by enzyme immunoassays for PGE2, interleukin (IL)-10, and IL-12, as well as cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and 2 activity. NPA PGE2 concentration correlated with length of illness preadmission, but was not related to disease severity, causal virus, or IL-10. NPA COX 1 and 2 activity and IL-12 were all below the level of detection. Neither NPA PGE2 nor disease severity was related to development of recurrent wheeze over 3 years following bronchiolitis. These data suggest that nasopharygeal PGE2 at hospital admission may be neither directly causal or diagnostic of severity of infant bronchiolitis, or prognostic of development of recurrent wheeze. However, large-cohort temporal examinations are required to adequately define this mediator as a therapeutic target for bronchiolitis.