Switzerland: nose bacteria may dictate speed of babies’ recovery from their first cold

08 February 2019

Babies with a wide variety of different bacteria living in their noses tend to recover more quickly from their first respiratory virus compared with those who have less variety, say researchers.

The study, published in ERJ Open Research, offers clues as to why some babies recover quickly from their first cough or cold, while others suffer for longer.

Dr Roland Neumann from University Children's Hospital of Basel said: ‘The respiratory tract is home to a wide variety of bacteria, and we are beginning to understand that the types and numbers of these bacteria can influence our respiratory health.’

The study cannot explain the link, and researcher Professor Urs Frey adds: ‘We do not yet know what combination of bacteria would be “ideal”, and this would need to be known before we understand how we might manipulate it.’

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