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Programming of the Lung in Early Life by Bacterial Infections Predisposes to Chronic Respiratory Disease

STARKEY, MALCOLM R. B Biomed Sci (Hons); NGUYEN, DUC H. B Biomed Sci (Hons); KIM, RICHARD Y. B Biomed Sci (Hons); NAIR, PREMA M. B Biomed Sci (Hons); BROWN, ALEXANDRA C. B Biomed Sci (Hons); ESSIFIE, AMA-TAWIAH PhD; HORVAT, JAY C. PhD; HANSBRO, PHILIP M. PhD

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: September 2013 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 - p 566–576
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182993a0c
Fetal Origins of Adult Disease

There is emerging evidence that chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema may originate in early life. Respiratory infections with certain bacterial pathogens such as Chlamydia, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae in early life may promote permanent deleterious changes in immunity, lung structure, and function that predispose to, or increase the severity of chronic respiratory diseases in later life. For example, these infections increase immune responses, which drive subsequent asthma pathogenesis. Targeting the pathways involved with specific inhibitors or agonists may prevent these consequences of early-life infection. Vaccination and immunomodulatory therapies that control the infections and their sequelae may also be efficacious.

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, Faculty of Health and Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Philip M. Hansbro, PhD, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Priority Research Center for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, Faculty of Health and Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia. E-mail: philip.hansbro@newcastle.edu.au

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.