[The role of respiratory infections in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].Med Klin (Munich). 2007 Nov 15; 102(11):893-8.MK
Morbidity and mortality of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are considerable and still increasing. The disease is gaining increasing socioeconomic importance. The knowledge of underlying mechanisms is of special relevance because of the lack of a curative therapy. Respiratory infections have been identified as the most important triggers of acute exacerbations but recent data suggest that they might also play an important role in COPD pathogenesis. This knowledge might offer new therapeutic perspectives in the future. The aim of this review is, therefore, to describe the inflammatory processes involved and to specify the role of respiratory infections in this context.