Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects 10% of Australians over 65 years. The disease is associated with chronic airway inflammation, and heightened oxidative stress. In addition the disease is punctuated by recurring chest infections, often triggered by viral infections such as human rhinovirus (HRV). These acute episodes lead to increased symptoms, the need for medications and often result in hospitalisation and disease progression. It remains unclear as to why subjects with COPD are so susceptible to the effects of RV infection. We will determine if immunosenescence (an age dependent decrease in the immune system) is evident in bronchial epithelial cells from COPD patients and does this affect the ability of these cells to respond to infection and repair.
Immunological aging in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)