Multi-Omic Factors Associated with Frequency of Upper Respiratory Infections in Developing Infants

Ramin Beheshti, E. Scott Halstead, Bryan Cusack, Steven D. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URIs) may be influenced by host, microbial, and environmental factors. We hypothesized that multi-omic analyses of molecular factors in infant saliva would identify complex host-environment interactions associated with URI frequency. A cohort study involving 146 infants was used to assess URI frequency in the first year of life. Saliva was collected at 6 months for high-throughput multi-omic measurement of cytokines, microRNAs, transcripts, and microbial RNA. Regression analysis identified environmental (daycare attendance, atmospheric pollution, breastfeeding duration), microbial (Verrucomicrobia, Streptococcus phage), and host factors (miR-22-5p) associated with URI frequency (p < 0.05). These results provide pathophysiologic clues about molecular factors that influence URI susceptibility. Validation of these findings in a larger cohort could one day yield novel approaches to detecting and managing URI susceptibility in infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number934
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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