Federico R Laham

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (14)76.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: We investigated whether children with a higher respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) genomic load are at a higher risk of more-severe bronchiolitis. Methods: Two multicenter prospective cohort studies in the United States and Finland used the same protocol to enroll children aged <2 years hospitalized for bronchiolitis and collect nasopharyngeal aspirates. By using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, patients were classified into 3 genomic load status groups: low, intermediate, and high. Outcome measures were a length of hospital stay (LOS) of ≥3 days and intensive care use, defined as admission to the intensive care unit or use of mechanical ventilation. Results: Of 2615 enrolled children, 1764 (67%) had RSV bronchiolitis. Children with a low genomic load had a higher unadjusted risk of having a length of stay of ≥3 days (52%), compared with children with intermediate and those with high genomic loads (42% and 51%, respectively). In a multivariable model, the risk of having a length of stay of ≥3 days remained significantly higher in the groups with intermediate (odds ratio [OR], 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-1.69) and high (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.29-1.94) genomic loads. Similarly, children with a high genomic load had a higher risk of intensive care use (20%, compared with 15% and 16% in the groups with low and intermediate genomic loads, respectively). In a multivariable model, the risk remained significantly higher in the group with a high genomic load (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.03-1.99). Conclusion: Children with a higher RSV genomic load had a higher risk for more-severe bronchiolitis.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 11/2014; 211(10). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu658 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is increased in the respiratory tract in pulmonary infections. The aim was to determine whether nasal wash NO metabolites could serve as biomarkers of viral pathogen and disease severity in children with influenza-like illness (ILI) presenting to the emergency department (ED) during the 2009 influenza A H1N1 pandemic. Children ≤18 years old presenting to the ED with ILI were eligible. Nasal wash specimens were tested for NO metabolites, nitrate and nitrite, by HPLC and for respiratory viruses by real-time PCR. Eighty-nine patients with ILI were prospectively enrolled during Oct-Dec, 2009. In the entire cohort, nasal wash nitrite was low to undetectable (interquartile range [IQR], 0 - 2 μM), while median nitrate was 3.4 μM (IQR 0-8.6). Rhinovirus (23%), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (20%), novel H1N1 (19%), and adenovirus (11%) were the most common viruses found. Children with RSV subtype B-associated ILI had higher nitrate compared to all other viruses combined (P=0.002). Concentration of NO-derived nitrate in nasal secretions in children in the ED is suggestive of viral pathogen causative for ILI, and thus might be of clinical utility. Predictive potential of this putative biomarker for ILI needs further evaluation in sicker patients in a prospective manner.
    The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal 11/2012; 6(1):127-34. DOI:10.2174/1874306401206010127
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    ABSTRACT: We reexamined the finding of an inverse relationship between values of nasopharyngeal lactate dehydrogenase, a marker of the innate immune response, and bronchiolitis severity. In a prospective, multicenter study of 258 children, we found in a multivariable model that higher nasopharyngeal lactate dehydrogenase values in young children with bronchiolitis were independently associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 04/2012; 31(7):767-9. DOI:10.1097/INF.0b013e3182565eae · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because the decision to hospitalize an infant with bronchiolitis is often supported by subjective criteria and objective indicators of bronchiolitis severity are lacking, we tested the hypothesis that lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which is released from injured cells, is a useful biochemical indicator of bronchiolitis severity. We retrospectively analyzed a study of children <24 months old presenting to the emergency department with bronchiolitis. Demographic, clinical information, nasal wash (NW), and serum specimens were obtained. NW samples were analyzed for respiratory viruses, caspase 3/7 activity, and a panel of cytokines and chemokines. Total LDH activity was tested in NW samples and sera. Of 101 enrolled children (median age: 5.6 months), 98 had NW specimens available. A viral etiology was found for 82 patients (83.6%), with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (66%) and rhinovirus (19%) being the most common viruses detected. Concentrations of LDH in NW specimens were independent from those in sera and were higher in children with RSV infection or with dual infection. Significant correlations were found between NW LDH and NW cytokines/chemokines. Similarly, NW LDH correlated with NW-caspase 3/7 activity (r = 0.75; P < .001). In a multivariate analysis, NW LDH concentration in the upper quartile was significantly associated with a reduced risk of hospitalization (odds ratio: 0.19 [95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.68]; P = .011). NW LDH levels in young children with bronchiolitis varied according to viral etiology and disease severity. Values in the upper quartile were associated with approximately 80% risk reduction in hospitalization, likely reflecting a robust antiviral response. NW LDH may be a useful biomarker to assist the clinician in the decision to hospitalize a child with bronchiolitis.
    PEDIATRICS 02/2010; 125(2):e225-33. DOI:10.1542/peds.2009-0411 · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding is a well-known protective factor against severe respiratory tract infections. Recently, a gender specific role for human milk has been described in very low birth weight infants and neonates: breast milk protected girls but not boys. To determine whether the protective effect of breastfeeding on the severity of acute respiratory infections in full term infants is different for girls and boys. A prospective cross-sectional study of infants seeking medical care for acute respiratory infection. The protective role of breastfeeding against viral pneumonia and hospitalization were assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Analyses were adjusted for important confounders. A total of 323 patients were enrolled in this study. Breastfeeding protected girls against pneumonia and hospitalization, but did not protect boys. Nonbreastfeeding females were particularly susceptible to severe acute respiratory infections. Breastfeeding had a protective effect against severe disease in infant girls experiencing their first symptomatic respiratory infection. Nonbreastfeeding females are at significant risk for severe acute lung disease and should be targeted intensively by breastfeeding campaigns.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 02/2009; 28(2):131-4. DOI:10.1097/INF.0b013e31818a8a82 · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Luis A Castagnini · Federico R Laham · Gail J Demmler
    Clinical Pediatrics 07/2008; 47(5):507-9. DOI:10.1177/0009922808316016 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenovirus (Ad)14 has recently emerged in the United States causing outbreaks of severe respiratory disease. To determine if Ad14 circulated in Houston, Texas, during the same time as an outbreak in military recruits in nearby San Antonio, 215 pediatric adenovirus isolates were serotyped using microneutralization. None were Ad14; Ad1, Ad2, and Ad3 were the most common identified serotypes.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 07/2008; 27(7):653-4. DOI:10.1097/INF.0b013e318168d25a · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Federico R Laham · Sheldon L Kaplan
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 03/2008; 8(2):140. DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(08)70019-7 · 22.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We characterized the T helper cytokine profiles in the respiratory tract of infants infected with influenza virus, human metapneumovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus to examine whether these agents elicit similar cytokine responses and whether T helper type 2 polarization is associated with wheezing and severe disease. A prospective study of infants who were seeking medical help for acute upper and/or lower respiratory tract infection symptoms for the first time and were found to be infected with influenza, human metapneumovirus, or respiratory syncytial virus was performed. Respiratory viruses were detected in nasal secretions with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays. The study was performed in emergency departments and outpatient clinics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. T cell cytokine responses were determined in nasal secretions with immunoassays and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays. Influenza elicited higher levels of interferon-gamma, interleukin-4, and interleukin-2 than did the other agents. Human metapneumovirus had the lowest interferon-gamma/interleukin-4 ratio (T helper type 2 bias). However, no association was found between T helper type 2 bias and overall wheezing or hospitalization rates. These findings show that viral respiratory infections in infants elicit different cytokine responses and that the pathogeneses of these agents should be studied individually.
    PEDIATRICS 09/2007; 120(2):e410-5. DOI:10.1542/peds.2006-3283 · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enhanced respiratory syncytial virus disease, a serious pulmonary disorder that affected recipients of an inactivated vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus in the 1960s, has delayed the development of vaccines against the virus. The enhanced disease was characterized by immune complex-mediated airway hyperreactivity and a severe pneumonia associated with pulmonary eosinophilia. In this paper, we show that complement factors contribute to enhanced-disease phenotypes. Mice with a targeted disruption of complement component C5 affected by the enhanced disease displayed enhanced airway reactivity, lung eosinophilia, and mucus production compared to wild-type mice and C5-deficient mice reconstituted with C5. C3aR expression in bronchial epithelial and smooth muscle cells in the lungs of C5-deficient mice was enhanced compared to that in wild-type and reconstituted rodents. Treatment of C5-deficient mice with a C3aR antagonist significantly attenuated airway reactivity, eosinophilia, and mucus production. These results indicate that C5 plays a crucial role in modulating the enhanced-disease phenotype, by affecting expression of C3aR in the lungs. These findings reveal a novel autoregulatory mechanism for the complement cascade that affects the innate and adaptive immune responses.
    Journal of Virology 02/2007; 81(2):991-9. DOI:10.1128/JVI.01783-06 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response is important for the control of viral replication during respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. The attachment glycoprotein (G) of RSV does not encode major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted epitopes in BALB/c mice (H-2(d)). Furthermore, studies to date have described an absence of significant CTL activity directed against this protein in humans. Therefore, G previously was not considered necessary for the generation of RSV-specific CTL responses. In this study, we demonstrate that, despite lacking H-2(d)-restricted epitopes, G enhances the generation of an effective CTL response against RSV. Furthermore, we show that this stimulatory effect is independent of virus titers and RSV-induced inflammation; that it is associated primarily with the secreted form of G; and that the effect depends on the cysteine-rich region of G (GCRR), a segment conserved in wild-type isolates worldwide. These findings reveal a novel function for the GCRR with potential implications for the generation of protective cellular responses and vaccine development.
    Journal of Virology 07/2006; 80(12):5854-61. DOI:10.1128/JVI.02671-05 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The attachment protein (glycoprotein) of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has long been associated with disease potentiation and respiratory symptoms. The glycoprotein has a conserved cysteine-rich region (GCRR) whose function is unknown and which is not necessary for efficient viral replication. In this report, we show that the GCRR is a powerful inhibitor of the innate immune response against RSV, and that early secretion of glycoprotein is critical to modulate inflammation after RSV infection. Importantly, the GCRR is also a potent inhibitor of cytokine production mediated by several TLR agonists, indicating that this peptide sequence displays broad antiinflammatory properties. These findings have important implications for RSV pathogenesis and describe an inhibitor of TLR-mediated inflammatory responses that could have clinical applications.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2005; 102(25):8996-9001. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409478102 · 9.67 Impact Factor
  • Scott J Hoffman · Federico R Laham · Fernando P Polack
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple factors, including cardiopulmonary anatomy, direct viral effects and the immune response can affect the severity of lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is the most frequent viral respiratory cause of hospitalization in infants and young children in the world. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of illness associated with severe RSV lower respiratory tract disease. A better understanding of the factors affecting the course of illness and their interplay should allow development of effective therapies in the future.
    Microbes and Infection 08/2004; 6(8):767-72. DOI:10.1016/j.micinf.2004.03.010 · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viral respiratory infections are the most frequent cause of hospital admission for infants and young children during winter. However, the mechanisms of illness that are associated with viral lower-respiratory-tract infection (LRI) are unclear. A widely accepted hypothesis attributes the pathogenesis of viral LRI in infants to the induction of innate inflammatory responses. This theory is supported by studies showing that Toll-like receptor 4 is activated by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), leading to production of inflammatory cytokines. We prospectively examined previously naive infants in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who had either upper- or lower-respiratory-tract symptoms. Infection with human metapneumovirus (hMPV) was second only to RSV in frequency. Both viruses were associated with rhinorrhea, cough, and wheezing; however, hMPV elicited significantly lower levels of respiratory inflammatory cytokines than did RSV. Symptoms in infants infected with influenza virus were different from those in infants infected with RSV, but cytokine responses were similar. These findings suggest that hMPV and RSV either cause disease via different mechanisms or share a common mechanism that is distinct from innate immune activation.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2004; 189(11):2047-56. DOI:10.1086/383350 · 6.00 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

305 Citations
76.10 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2012
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • • Section of Infectious Diseases
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2004–2007
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of International Health
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States