Severe asthma exacerbation: role of acute Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection
Journal - Respiratory Research
BackgroundChlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae are associated with acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma (AEBA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between these acute bacterial infections and the severity of AEBA.MethodsWe prospectively analysed consecutive patients admitted to the Emergency Department with acute asthma exacerbation. In every patient peak expiratory flow (PEF) measurement was performed on admission, and spirometry during follow-up. Serology for Chlamydophila and Mycoplasma pneumoniae was performed on admission and after 4–8 weeks.ResultsFifty-eight patients completed the study. Acute atypical infections (AAI) was observed in 22/58 cases; we found single acute C. pneumoniae in 19 cases, single acute M. pneumoniae in 2 cases, and double acute infection in one case. Functional impairment on admission was greater in patients with AAI than in patients without AAI (PEF 205 ± 104 L/min vs 276 ± 117 p = 0.02) and persisted until visit 2 (FEV1% 76.30 ± 24.54 vs FEV1% 92.91 ± 13.89, p = 0.002). Moreover, the proportion of patients who presented with severe AEBA was significantly greater in the group with AAI than in the group without AAI (15/22 vs 12/36, p = 0.01; OR 4.29, 95% CI 1.38–13.32).ConclusionOur data suggest an association between acute atypical infection and a more severe AEBA.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae induces a sustained airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in mice
Journal - Respiratory Research
BackgroundIt has been reported that Chlamydophila (C.) pneumoniae is involved in the initiation and promotion of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Surprisingly, the effect of C. pneumoniae on airway function has never been investigated.MethodsIn this study, mice were inoculated intranasally with C. pneumoniae (strain AR39) on day 0 and experiments were performed on day 2, 7, 14 and 21.ResultsWe found that from day 7, C. pneumoniae infection causes both a sustained airway hyperresponsiveness and an inflammation. Interferon-? (IFN-?) and macrophage inflammatory chemokine-2 (MIP-2) levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)-fluid were increased on all experimental days with exception of day 7 where MIP-2 concentrations dropped to control levels. In contrast, tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) levels were only increased on day 7. From day 7 to 21 epithelial damage and secretory cell hypertrophy was observed. It is suggested that, the inflammatory cells/mediators, the epithelial damage and secretory cell hypertrophy contribute to initiation of airway hyperresponsiveness.ConclusionOur study demonstrates for the first time that C. pneumoniae infection can modify bronchial responsiveness. This has clinical implications, since additional changes in airway responsiveness and inflammation-status induced by this bacterium may worsen and/or provoke breathlessness in asthma and COPD.