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      Pneumococcal vaccination and chronic respiratory diseases

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          Patients with COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases are especially vulnerable to viral and bacterial pulmonary infections, which are major causes of exacerbations, hospitalization, disease progression, and mortality in COPD patients. Effective vaccines could reduce the burden of respiratory infections and acute exacerbations in COPD patients, but what is the evidence for this? This article reviews and discusses the existing evidence for pneumococcal vaccination efficacy and its changing role in patients with chronic respiratory diseases, especially COPD. Specifically, the recent Community-Acquired Pneumonia Immunization Trial in Adults (CAPITA) showed the efficacy of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in older adults, many of whom had additional risk factors for pneumococcal disease, including chronic lung diseases. Taken together, the evidence suggests that pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations can prevent community-acquired pneumonia and acute exacerbations in COPD patients, while pneumococcal vaccination early in the course of COPD could help maintain stable health status. Despite the need to prevent pulmonary infections in patients with chronic respiratory diseases and evidence for the efficacy of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine coverage and awareness are low and need to be improved. Respiratory physicians need to communicate the benefits of vaccination more effectively to their patients who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases.

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          Most cited references 82

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          Guidelines for the management of adult lower respiratory tract infections - Full version

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          This document is an update of Guidelines published in 2005 and now includes scientific publications through to May 2010. It provides evidence-based recommendations for the most common management questions occurring in routine clinical practice in the management of adult patients with LRTI. Topics include management outside hospital, management inside hospital (including community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), acute exacerbations of bronchiectasis) and prevention. Background sections and graded evidence tables are also included. The target audience for the Guideline is thus all those whose routine practice includes the management of adult LRTI.
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             R Stockley,  E Sapey (2006)
            Exacerbations of COPD are thought to be caused by complex interactions between the host, bacteria, viruses, and environmental pollution. These factors increase the inflammatory burden in the lower airways, overwhelming the protective anti-inflammatory defences leading to tissue damage. Frequent exacerbations are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, a faster decline in lung function, and poorer health status, so prevention or optimal treatment of exacerbations is a global priority. In order to evolve new treatment strategies there has been great interest in the aetiology and pathophysiology of exacerbations, but progress has been hindered by the heterogeneous nature of these episodes, vague definitions of an exacerbation, and poor stratification of known confounding factors when interpreting results. We review how an exacerbation should be defined, its inflammatory basis, and the importance of exacerbations on disease progression. Important aetiologies, with their potential underlying mechanisms, are discussed and the significance of each aetiology is considered.
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              Mechanisms and impact of the frequent exacerbator phenotype in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

              Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important events that carry significant consequences for patients. Some patients experience frequent exacerbations, and are now recognized as a distinct clinical subgroup, the ‘frequent exacerbator’ phenotype. This is relatively stable over time, occurs across disease severity, and is associated with poorer health outcomes. These patients are therefore a priority for research and treatment. The pathophysiology underlying the frequent exacerbator phenotype is complex, with increased airway and systemic inflammation, dynamic lung hyperinflation, changes in lower airway bacterial colonization and a possible increased susceptibility to viral infection. Frequent exacerbators are also at increased risk from comorbid extrapulmonary diseases including cardiovascular disease, gastroesophageal reflux, depression, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment. Overall these patients have poorer health status, accelerated forced expiratory volume over 1 s (FEV1) decline, worsened quality of life, and increased hospital admissions and mortality, contributing to increased exacerbation susceptibility and perpetuation of the frequent exacerbator phenotype. This review article sets out the definition and importance of the frequent exacerbator phenotype, with a detailed examination of its pathophysiology, impact and interaction with other comorbidities.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                05 December 2017
                : 12
                : 3457-3468
                [1 ]Chest Department, Hospital Pulido Valente, North Lisbon Hospital Center, Lisbon, Portugal
                [2 ]Department of Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, Cochin Hospital, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France
                [3 ]Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan
                [4 ]Internal Medicine Department, Respiratory Unit and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, Fondazione IRCCS ca Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Francesco Blasi, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, 7 Via Festa del Perdono, Milan 20122, Italy, Tel +39 02 5032 0627, Fax +39 02 5032 0625, Email francesco.blasi@
                © 2017 Froes et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Respiratory medicine

                pneumococcal vaccine, infection, copd exacerbation, copd


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