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Eur Respir J. 2014 Dec;44(6):1666-81. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00047714. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Viral infections and asthma: an inflammatory interface?

Author information

1
School of Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia brian.oliver@uts.edu.au.
2
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia Dept of Respiratory Medicine, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Dept of Thoracic Medicine, Concord General Hospital, Concord, Australia.
4
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in which the majority of patients respond to treatment with corticosteroids and β₂-adrenoceptor agonists. Acute exacerbations of asthma substantially contribute to disease morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs, and are not restricted to patients who are not compliant with their treatment regimens. Given that respiratory viral infections are the principal cause of asthma exacerbations, this review article will explore the relationship between viral infections and asthma, and will put forward hypotheses as to why virus-induced exacerbations occur. Potential mechanisms that may explain why current therapeutics do not fully inhibit virus-induced exacerbations, for example, β₂-adrenergic desensitisation and corticosteroid insensitivity, are explored, as well as which aspects of virus-induced inflammation are likely to be attenuated by current therapy.

PMID:
25234802
DOI:
10.1183/09031936.00047714
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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