May “immune debt” be accountable for the epidemic?

May “immune debt” be accountable for the epidemic?


  • Acute bronchiolitis is a respiratory illness of viral origin that primarily impacts youngsters underneath 2 years of age throughout seasonal winter epidemics, in keeping with Santé Publique France.
  • Epidemiologists recall the significance of vaccination towards bronchiolitis.

Have sporting a masks and the sanitary measures linked to Covid-19 made us extra inclined to infections? This idea ofimmune debt“, which is presently on the coronary heart of debates between pediatricians and epidemiologists, would clarify the virulence of the present epidemic of bronchiolitis.

The bronchiolitis epidemic linked to anti-Covid measures?

In different phrases, by dint of defending our immune system and fewer exposing it to viruses, it will not have been harassed sufficient. Thus, we at the moment are extra delicate to sure illnesses and viruses, together with RSV, accountable for between 50% and 80% of instances of bronchiolitis in France.

The hospital is underneath pressure, very sturdy in paediatrics, with an epidemic of bronchiolitis which was early, which could be very intense. Why is she so intense? Exactly as a result of for 2 years, we wore masks, and since it is a respiratory virus, we had safety, so we had an epidemic that was very weak, we had much less immunization of the little ones, and all of the sudden, as there’s a collective rest, the virus circulates very strongly, it circulates earlier, and subsequently there are lots of youngsters who’re sick”, summarized the previous Minister of Well being, Olivier Véran, on November 13 on BFM TV.

In early November, Public Well being France had certainly reported hospitalizations at file ranges “for greater than ten years” with round seven thousand visits to the emergency room within the final week of October. And in keeping with its newest epidemiological report of November 16, the bronchiolitis epidemic continues at “a really excessive degree in mainland France”. Additionally this 12 months, the epidemic was six weeks forward of the basic seasonal cycle which sees bronchiolitis normally begin in mid-November.

“Immune debt” will not be scientifically confirmed

This notion of “immune debt” appeared in a textual content by French pediatricians printed in Infectious Ailments Now in August 2021 and is being debated inside the scientific group.

On his twitter account, epidemiologist Antoine Flahault writes that this idea is above all “the illustration of our nice ignorance within the subject of immunology. As a substitute of claiming “I do not know why we’ve got this degree of bronchiolitis”, some scientists, particularly medical doctors [et] particularly paediatricians, rush into it with out restraint. We’ve significantly cleaned up – on a microbiological degree – our existence for a century. [Or] as an alternative of paying our digestive, cutaneous, genital and respiratory immune debt, we’ve got seen infectious illnesses soften away and life expectancy greater than double”.

Brigitte Autran, Emeritus Professor of Immunology on the College of Medication of the Sorbonne and President of Covars (the Committee for monitoring and anticipating well being dangers) explains in Liberation that it’s nonetheless tough to know precisely whether or not this discount in publicity to many pathogens favored extra infections after the Covid-19 disaster.

Lastly, additionally it is tough to talk of debt as a result of “it’s not possible to quantify the quantity of stimulation that the immune system would wish”, explains Brigitte Autran.

May “immune debt” be accountable for the epidemic?

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