Why are people with smoking related lung disease so badly affected by respiratory virus infections?

Grant number: 454518 | Funding period: 2007 - 2011



We want to understand why cigarette smoke exposure worsens respiratory virus infections. People who smoke, or who have smoked in the past, or who are exposed to environmental (passive) smoke, get sicker than nonsmokers when they get a respiratory virus infection, such as a common cold or the flu. This is true for people of all age groups, but we don't know why smoke has this effect. We think it may be because smoke interferes with some aspects of the immune response. A particular focus of our research is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a serious lung disease which generally occurs in people who have smoked for many years. However, many COPD patients stopped smoking many years ..

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