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      Effect of Interactions Between Lower Airway Bacterial and Rhinoviral Infection in Exacerbations of COPD

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          Abstract

          Study objectives

          The inflammatory responses and associated clinical severity of COPD exacerbations are greatly variable, and the determinants of these factors are poorly understood. We examined the hypothesis that bacteria and viruses may modulate this heterogeneity and that interactions between bacterial and viral infection may affect changes in airway bacterial load and the clinical features and inflammatory responses of exacerbations in patients with COPD.

          Design

          Prospective cohort study.

          Setting

          Outpatient Department, London Chest Hospital, London, UK.

          Patients

          Thirty-nine patients with COPD.

          Measurements

          We prospectively studied 56 COPD exacerbations, obtaining clinical data and paired sputum and serum samples at baseline and exacerbation. Qualitative and quantitative microbiology, polymerase chain reaction detection for rhinovirus, and estimation of cytokine levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were performed.

          Results

          A total of 69.6% of exacerbations were associated with a bacterial pathogen, most commonly Haemophilus influenzae. Rhinovirus was identified in 19.6% of exacerbations. The rise in bacterial load at exacerbation correlated with the rise in sputum interleukin (IL)-8 ( r = 0.37, p = 0.022) and fall in FEV 1 ( r = 0.35, p = 0.048). Exacerbations with both rhinovirus and H influenzae had higher bacterial loads (10 8.56 cfu/mL vs 10 8.05cfu/mL, p = 0.018) and serum IL-6 (13.75 pg/mL vs 6.29 pg/mL, p = 0.028) than exacerbations without both pathogens. In exacerbations with both cold symptoms (a marker of putative viral infection) and a bacterial pathogen, the FEV 1 fall was greater (20.3% vs 3.6%, p = 0.026) and symptom count was higher (p = 0.019) than those with a bacterial pathogen alone.

          Conclusions

          The clinical severity and inflammatory responses in COPD exacerbations are modulated by the nature of the infecting organism: bacterial and viral pathogens interact to cause additional rises in inflammatory markers and greater exacerbation severity.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Respiratory viruses, symptoms, and inflammatory markers in acute exacerbations and stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          The effects of respiratory viral infection on the time course of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation were examined by monitoring changes in systemic inflammatory markers in stable COPD and at exacerbation. Eighty-three patients with COPD (mean [SD] age, 66.6 [7.1] yr, FEV(1), 1.06 [0.61] L) recorded daily peak expiratory flow rate and any increases in respiratory symptoms. Nasal samples and blood were taken for respiratory virus detection by culture, polymerase chain reaction, and serology, and plasma fibrinogen and serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) were determined at stable baseline and exacerbation. Sixty-four percent of exacerbations were associated with a cold occurring up to 18 d before exacerbation. Seventy-seven viruses (39 [58.2%] rhinoviruses) were detected in 66 (39.2%) of 168 COPD exacerbations in 53 (64%) patients. Viral exacerbations were associated with frequent exacerbators, colds with increased dyspnea, a higher total symptom count at presentation, a longer median symptom recovery period of 13 d, and a tendency toward higher plasma fibrinogen and serum IL-6 levels. Non-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) respiratory viruses were detected in 11 (16%), and RSV in 16 (23.5%), of 68 stable COPD patients, with RSV detection associated with higher inflammatory marker levels. Respiratory virus infections are associated with more severe and frequent exacerbations, and may cause chronic infection in COPD. Prevention and early treatment of viral infections may lead to a decreased exacerbation frequency and morbidity associated with COPD.
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            New strains of bacteria and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            The role of bacterial pathogens in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is controversial. In older studies, the rates of isolation of bacterial pathogens from sputum were the same during acute exacerbations and during stable disease. However, these studies did not differentiate among strains within a bacterial species and therefore could not detect changes in strains over time. We hypothesized that the acquisition of a new strain of a pathogenic bacterial species is associated with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We conducted a prospective study in which clinical information and sputum samples for culture were collected monthly and during exacerbations from 81 outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Molecular typing of sputum isolates of nonencapsulated Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was performed. Over a period of 56 months, the 81 patients made a total of 1975 clinic visits, 374 of which were made during exacerbations (mean, 2.1 per patient per year). On the basis of molecular typing, an exacerbation was diagnosed at 33.0 percent of the clinic visits that involved isolation of a new strain of a bacterial pathogen, as compared with 15.4 percent of visits at which no new strain was isolated (P<0.001; relative risk of an exacerbation, 2.15; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.83 to 2.53). Isolation of a new strain of H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis, or S. pneumoniae was associated with a significantly increased risk of an exacerbation. The association between an exacerbation and the isolation of a new strain of a bacterial pathogen supports the causative role of bacteria in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Copyright 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Respiratory viruses in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring hospitalisation: a case-control study.

              Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD) are a common cause of hospital admission. Many exacerbations are believed to be due to upper and/or lower respiratory tract viral infections, but the incidence of these infections in patients with COPD is still undetermined. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A and B, parainfluenza 3, and picornaviruses were detected by nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in upper (nasal lavage) and lower respiratory tract specimens (induced sputum). In a 2:1 case-control set up, 85 hospitalised patients with AE-COPD and 42 patients with stable COPD admitted for other medical reasons were studied. Respiratory viruses were found more often in sputum and nasal lavage of patients with AE-COPD (48/85, 56%) than in patients with stable COPD (8/42, 19%, p<0.01). The most common viruses were picornaviruses (21/59, 36%), influenza A (15/59, 25%), and RSV (13/59, 22%). When specimens were analysed separately, this difference was seen in induced sputum (exacerbation 40/85 (47%) v stable 4/42 (10%), p<0.01) but was not significant in nasal lavage (exacerbation 26/85 (31%) v stable 7/42 (17%), p=0.14). In patients with AE-COPD, fever was more frequent in those in whom viruses were detected (12/48, 25%) than in those in whom viruses were not detected (2/37, 5%, p=0.03). Viral respiratory pathogens are found more often in respiratory specimens of hospitalised patients with AE-COPD than in control patients. Induced sputum detects respiratory viruses more frequently than nasal lavage in these patients. These data indicate that nasal lavage probably has no additional diagnostic value to induced sputum in cross-sectional studies on hospitalised patients with AE-COPD and that the role of viral infection in these patients is still underestimated.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Chest
                Chest
                Chest
                American College of Chest Physicians
                0012-3692
                1931-3543
                23 December 2015
                February 2006
                23 December 2015
                : 129
                : 2
                : 317-324
                Affiliations
                [a ]Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, University College, London, NW3 2PF, UK j.a.wedzicha@ 123456medsch.ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                S0012-3692(15)38752-3
                10.1378/chest.129.2.317
                7094441
                16478847
                © 2006 The American College of Chest Physicians

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