1 September 2012
This review explores the extensive influence of viral infections leading to chronic deterioration of lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The mechanisms how viral agents affect the pathogenesis as well as the inflammatory and immune response of CF are discussed. Viral infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract due to viruses in CF patients and methods for diagnosis of respiratory viruses are described in detail. The importance of respiratory and non-respiratory viral agents for the pathogenesis, especially for the exacerbation of bacterial lower respiratory tract infections and course of CF, is stressed, especially emphasizing respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, rhinovirus, and human herpes viruses. Possible harmful effects of further viruses like adenovirus, bocavirus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenzavirus on the lung function of CF patients are discussed. The potential use of adenovirus-based vectors for somatic gene therapy is mentioned.