Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether the regulatory Immune response (interleukin (IL)-10 response) differed between children hospitalized with acute respiratory infections and wheezing.Methodology: Infants with signs and symptoms of acute viral respiratory infection, admitted during winter 2000 to Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, WA, Australia, were enrolled in this study. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected in the first 48 h of admission. Total cell count and differential cell counts were assessed. Samples were tested for the presence of respiratory viruses. The concentrations of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8, interferon-gamma, and IL-11 were determined by ELISA.Results: Children with acute bronchiolitis (AB; n = 36), recurrent wheeze (RW; n = 17) and upper respiratory infection (URI; n = 18) were enrolled. Respitory syncytial virus was the most commonly detected virus in all groups. IL-10 concentrations were significantly increased in AB (median, 0.019 ng/mL) when compared to URI (median, 0.006 ng/mL) or to RW (median, 0.007 ng/mL; P < 0.05). Neutrophils were the predominant cells in the cytological analysis in all subjects.Conclusion: These data argue that host-response factors are important in determining the clinical phenotype, independent of the causative virus.