The Role of the Immune Response in the Pathogenesis of Bronchiectasis

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Bronchiectasis is a prevalent respiratory condition characterised by permanent and abnormal dilation of the lung airways (bronchi). There are a large variety of causative factors that have been identified for bronchiectasis; all of these compromise the function of the immune response to fight infection. A triggering factor may lead to the establishment of chronic infection in the lower respiratory tract. The bacteria responsible for the lower respiratory tract infection are usually found as commensals in the upper respiratory tract microbiome. The consequent inflammatory response to infection is largely responsible for the pathology of this condition. Both innate and adaptive immune responses are activated. The literature has highlighted the central role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of bronchiectasis. Proteases produced in the lung by the inflammatory response damage the airways and lead to the pathological dilation that is the pathognomonic feature of bronchiectasis. The small airways demonstrate infiltration with lymphoid follicles that may contribute to localised small airway obstruction. Despite aggressive treatment, most patients will have persistent disease. Manipulating the immune response in bronchiectasis may potentially have therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6802637
Number of pages13
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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