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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Nov 1;186(9):824-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201206-1063PP. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Respiratory infection and the impact of pulmonary immunity on lung health and disease.

Author information

1
Boston University School of Medicine, The Pulmonary Center, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA. jmizgerd@bu.edu

Abstract

Acute lower respiratory tract infection is responsible for an inordinate disease burden. Pulmonary immunity determines the outcomes of these infections. The innate and adaptive immune responses to microbes in the lung are critical to maintaining a healthy respiratory system and preventing pulmonary disease. In addition to balancing antimicrobial defense against the risk of lung injury during the immediate infection, the shaping of pulmonary immunity by respiratory infection contributes to the pathophysiology of many and even perhaps most chronic pulmonary diseases. This Pulmonary Perspective aims to communicate two interconnected points. First, tremendous morbidity and mortality result from inadequate, misguided, or excessive pulmonary immunity. Second, our understanding of pulmonary immunity is at an exciting stage of rapid developments and discoveries, but many questions remain. Further advances in pulmonary immunity and elucidation of the cellular and molecular responses to microbes in the lung are needed to develop novel approaches to predicting, preventing, and curing respiratory disease.

PMID:
22798317
PMCID:
PMC3530220
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201206-1063PP
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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