Prevention of wheeze-associated hospitalisation in pre-schoolers

Professor Cameron Grant, University of Auckland

Pre-school wheeze is one of the most common causes of hospital admission in young children in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide. Current prevention strategies are ineffective and there is a recognised need for new approaches.

OM-85 reduces the inflammation associated with wheezing

OM-85 is an orally-administered bacterial lysate that stimulates immune responses associated with defence against viral infections. It reduces the excessive inflammation of respiratory mucosa that’s associated with wheezing episodes.

It may prevent wheeze episodes in young children

In placebo-controlled trials, OM-85 has been shown to reduce recurrent respiratory tract infections, compared to placebo, and to be well tolerated. Emerging evidence suggests OM-85 may prevent wheeze episodes in young children.

Professor Grant is leading a study to see if OM-85 reduces hospital admissions

Larger studies are required to evaluate whether OM-85 reduces pre-school wheeze-related hospital admissions. To address this, Professor Grant and a team from New Zealand and Australia are conducting a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to address this critical knowledge gap.

A total of 2268 children will be enrolled. They will be between one and six years old with a history of wheeze and admitted to one of the 42 participating hospitals (including six in NZ), then randomly assigned 1:1 to receive OM-85 or placebo.

Cure Kids is funding the recruitment of New Zealand participants

By supporting this New Zealand trial, Cure Kids is helping to ensure the findings can be used to improve health outcomes here, in Australia and around the world.