COPD & Lung Bacteria
Over the years, researchers have found more and more evidence of a connection between the lung microbiome and COPD symptoms. Although smoking is the primary risk factor for COPD, it seems that bacteria might exacerbate the condition. In short, experts think that the presence of certain bacteria within the airway’s sparks inflammation, which, in turn, contributes to the progression of COPD.
One of the leading theories is known as the vicious circle.
The most clinically important species of Moraxella is M. catarrhalis, which can cause infections such as sinusitis. Studies have shown that this bacterium can increase airway inflammation, which, in turn, exacerbates the symptoms of COPD. This states that tobacco smoke and other chemicals damage the lung’s defenses. These weakened defenses allow pathogenic bacteria to remain in the lower airways, where they thrive.
As these bacteria interact with epithelial and immune cells in the airways, they trigger inflammation as the lungs attempt to combat the infection.
The resulting inflammation further damages the lung’s defenses, helping the bacteria to remain in position, creating a vicious circle of inflammation and increasingly severe lung damage. (Medical news Today 11/21/2020)