Regulatory Role of Alveolar Macrophages and Cytokines in Pulmonary Host Defense
The lungs are repeatedly exposed to respiratory pathogens, either by inhalation or (micro-) aspiration of microorganisms that colonize the oropharynx. Infectious agents that have passed the structural defenses and have entered the terminal airways may cause pneumonia, one of the most common infectious diseases. Both the growing number of immunocompromised patients susceptible to pneumonia, and the widespread use of antibiotics that has led to a rise in antibiotic resistance among microorganisms, have made the treatment of pneumonia more difficult. Hence, there is a need for novel therapeutic approaches for pneumonia. Immunotherapy, aimed at modulating the immune response, is one such approach. Immunotherapy may serve as an important adjuvant to antibiotic therapy in the treatment of infectious diseases. However, before such immunotherapies can become serious tools in the treatment of severe pneumonia, increased knowledge of the immune host defense is needed.
KeywordsHost Defense Alveolar Macrophage Respiratory Pathogen Pneumococcal Pneumonia Bacterial Clearance
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