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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1998 Feb;20(2):139-44.

Induction of abnormal respiratory sounds by capsaicin in rats previously infected with Bordetella pertussis.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.


Sprague Dawley rats, previously infected with Phase-I Bordetella pertussis, developed more severe abnormal respiratory sounds than normal animals, but not coughing, when exposed to aerosolized capsaicin, one of several cough-inducing agents tested. Stethoscope examination suggested that greater production of pulmonary mucus might be occurring after capsaicin challenge of the infected animals, compared to the uninfected controls. Rats of three other strains gave characteristically different responses from the Sprague Dawleys. The administration of capsaicin to B. pertussis-infected rats may provide useful insights into the pathophysiology of excess mucus secretion in human pertussis.

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