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Editor,—Faniran et alshowed that children with persistent cough do not have an illness that has common features with asthma, and they stated that the cause of persistent cough in these children remains unknown.1 We entirely agree with their comments and suggest a possible association of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and persistent cough in some children.
Twenty one children (4 male, 17 female) with persistent cough (lasting more than two weeks) between the ages of 10 and 70 months (median 42 months) were invited to participate in our study, which used an indirect immunofluorescence test on nasopharyngeal swab specimens forC pneumoniae identification. Serum IgE concentrations were also determined. C pneumoniaewas detected in eight of 21 children, but increased serum IgE (> 100 IU/ml) was found in only one of the eight children withC pneumoniae infection. Administration of erythromycin for 2–6 weeks resulted in clinical improvement in all infected children.
C pneumoniae, the recently described third chlamydia species, has been associated with a wide range of respiratory tract illness from pharyngitis to pneumonia.2 Furthermore, it has been postulated that C pneumoniaerespiratory infection is one of the important causes of asthma attacks, not only in adults3 but also in children.4 Considering these reports and our results, we conclude that C pneumoniae infection is strongly associated in some children with persistent cough, and that treatment with erythromycin may lead to clinical improvement.
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