Viruses can Result in Acute Attacks of Chronic Lung Diseases

by Anne Trueman on  May 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Viral infection of the respiratory tract is linked to acute attacks of respiratory diseases like asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis.

Viruses are found everywhere and are responsible for some of the worst and incurable infections.
Viruses can Result in Acute Attacks of Chronic Lung Diseases
Viruses can Result in Acute Attacks of Chronic Lung Diseases

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is known to be the fourth leading cause of global mortality. Recent researches have revealed that by the year 2020, it will become the third leading cause.

Rhinoviruses not only cause common cold but are also responsible for COPD exacerbations.

Other organisms responsible for COPD exacerbations are adenovirus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus and metapneumovirus.

COPD symptoms may vary from mild to severe depending upon the intensity of the airway disease.

Some of the common symptoms of COPD are dypnea, chronic cough, excessive sputum production, fatigue, wheezing or whistling sound during breathing, clubbing of fingers, etc.

COPD is an irreversible lung disease. The treatment involves antimicrobial drugs, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, aerosol agents, etc.

Besides COPD, other lung conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis also show exacerbations in the presence of viral infection.

Aran Singanayagam and colleagues have published an article in BMC Medicine 2012 on "Viruses exacerbating chronic pulmonary disease: the role of immune modulation."

The article mainly reviewed the existing knowledge about the role of viruses and immune modulation in COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis. The authors concluded that the immune response to viruses is reduced in these chronic lung conditions, either through a similar or different mechanism. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the decreased immunity can help to reduce the impact of acute exacerbations of these lung diseases following viral infection.


Viruses exacerbating chronic pulmonary disease: the role of immune modulation; Aran Singanayagam et al; BMC Medicine 2012

Source: Medindia

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