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Concept: Mucus


Severe influenza infection represents a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Although influenza is primarily considered a viral infection that results in pathology limited to the respiratory system, clinical reports suggest that influenza infection is frequently associated with a number of clinical syndromes that involve organ systems outside the respiratory tract. A comprehensive Medline literature review of articles pertaining to extra-pulmonary complications of influenza infection, using organ-specific search terms, yielded 234 articles including case reports, epidemiologic investigations, and autopsy studies that were reviewed to determine the clinical involvement of other organs. The most frequently described clinical entities were viral myocarditis and viral encephalitis. Recognition of these extra-pulmonary complications is critical to determining the true burden of influenza infection and initiating organ-specific supportive care. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Pulmonology, Respiratory system, Larynx, Upper respiratory tract, Mucus, Copyright, Respiratory tract


The role of inhaled steroids in patients with chronic respiratory diseases is a matter of debate due to the potential effect on the development and prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). We assessed whether treatment with inhaled steroids in patients with chronic bronchitis, COPD or asthma and CAP may affect early outcome of the acute pneumonic episode.

Concepts: Asthma, Medical terms, Pneumonia, Cough, Chronic, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Mucus, Respiratory diseases


Many patients with asthma remain symptomatic despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) with or without long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs). Tiotropium add-on to ICS plus a LABA has been shown to improve lung function and reduce exacerbation risk in patients with symptomatic asthma.

Concepts: Immune system, Improve, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Mucus, Obstructive lung disease


We evaluated the performance of the Becton Dickinson Veritor™ System Flu A + B rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT) to detect influenza viruses in respiratory specimens from patients enrolled at five surveillance sites in Kenya, a tropical country where influenza seasonality is variable.

Concepts: Antiviral drug, Influenza, Influenza pandemic, Mucus, Influenza vaccine, Influenzavirus A, Becton Dickinson, Maxwell Becton


Patients who survive influenza A (H7N9) virus infection are at risk of physical and psychological complications of lung injury and multi-organ dysfunction. However, there were no prospectively individualized assessments of physiological, functional and quality-of-life measures after hospital discharge. The current study aims to assess the main determinants of functional disability of these patients during the follow-up. Fifty-six influenza A (H7N9) survivors were investigated during the 2-year after discharge from the hospital. Results show interstitial change and fibrosis on pulmonary imaging remained 6 months after hospital discharge. Both ventilation and diffusion dysfunction improved, but restrictive and obstructive patterns on ventilation function test persisted throughout the follow-up period. For patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome lung functions improved faster during the first six months. Role-physical and Role-emotional domains in the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey were worse than those of a sex- and age-matched general population group. The quality of life of survivors with ARDS was lower than those with no ARDS. Our findings suggest that pulmonary function and imaging findings improved during the first 6 months especially for those with ARDS, however long-term lung disability and psychological impairment in H7N9 survivors persisted at 2 years after discharge from the hospital.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Pneumonia, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Pulmonary contusion, Influenza, Term, Mucus


Respiratory disease is the leading cause of death in the UK. Methods for assessing pulmonary function and chest wall movement are essential for accurate diagnosis, as well as monitoring response to treatment, operative procedures and rehabilitation. Despite this, there is a lack of low-cost devices for rapid assessment. Spirometry is used to measure air flow expired, but cannot infer or directly measure full chest wall motion. This paper presents the development of a low-cost chest wall motion assessment system. The prototype was developed using four Microsoft Kinect sensors to create a 3D time-varying representation of a patient’s torso. An evaluation of the system in two phases is also presented. Initially, static volume of a resuscitation mannequin with that of a Nikon laser scanner is performed. This showed the system has slight underprediction of 0.441 %. Next, a dynamic analysis through the comparison of results from the prototype and a spirometer in nine cystic fibrosis patients and thirteen healthy subjects was performed. This showed an agreement with correlation coefficients above 0.8656 in all participants. The system shows promise as a method for assessing respiratory disease in a cost-effective and timely manner. Further work must now be performed to develop the prototype and provide further evaluations.

Concepts: Diseases and disorders, Respiratory disease, Death, Pulmonology, Patient, Evaluation, Cystic fibrosis, Mucus


Influenza A virus (IAV) neuraminidase (NA) cleaves sialic acids (Sias) from glycans. Inhibiting NA with oseltamivir suppresses both viral infection, and viral release from cultured human airway epithelial cells. The role of NA in viral exit is well established: it releases budding virions by cleaving Sias from glycoconjugates on infected cells and progeny virions. The role of NA in viral entry remains unclear. Host respiratory epithelia secrete a mucus layer rich in heavily sialylated glycoproteins; these could inhibit viral entry by mimicking sialylated receptors on the cell surface. It has been suggested that NA allows influenza to penetrate the mucus by cleaving these sialylated decoys, but the exact mechanism is not yet established.

Concepts: Protein, Microbiology, Virus, Infection, Influenza, Respiratory epithelium, Mucus, Orthomyxoviridae


This paper reviews the literature relating to the biofeedback used in physical rehabilitation. The biofeedback methods used in rehabilitation are based on biomechanical measurements and measurements of the physiological systems of the body. The physiological systems of the body which can be measured to provide biofeedback are the neuromuscular system, the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Neuromuscular biofeedback methods include electromyography (EMG) biofeedback and real-time ultrasound imaging (RTUS) biofeedback. EMG biofeedback is the most widely investigated method of biofeedback and appears to be an effective in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions and in post cardiovascular accident (CVA) rehabilitation. RTUS biofeedback has been demonstrated effective in the treatment of low back pain (LBP) and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Cardiovascular biofeedback methods have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a number of health conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, asthma, fibromyalgia and even psychological disorders however a systematic review in this field has yet to be conducted. Similarly, the number of large scale studies examining the use of respiratory biofeedback in rehabilitation is limited. Measurements of movement, postural control and force output can be made using a number of different devices and used to deliver biomechanical biofeedback. Inertial based sensing biofeedback is the most widely researched biomechanical biofeedback method, with a number of studies showing it to be effective in improving measures of balance in a number of populations. Other types of biomechanical biofeedback include force plate systems, electrogoniometry, pressure biofeedback and camera based systems however the evidence for these is limited. Biofeedback is generally delivered using visual displays, acoustic or haptic signals, however more recently virtual reality (VR) or exergaming technology have been used as biofeedback signals. VR and exergaming technology have been primarily investigated in post-CVA rehabilitation, however, more recent work has shown this type of biofeedback to be effective in improving exercise technique in musculoskeletal populations. While a number of studies in this area have been conducted, further large scale studies and reviews investigating different biofeedback applications in different clinical populations are required.

Concepts: Blood, Hypertension, Heart, Respiratory system, Thoracic diaphragm, Mucus, Respiration, Ibn al-Nafis


Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality, and is frequently associated with intra-amniotic infection hypothesized to arise from bacterial ascension across a dysfunctional cervical mucus plug. To study this dysfunction, we assessed the permeability of cervical mucus from non-pregnant ovulating (n = 20) and high- (n = 9) and low-risk (n = 16) pregnant women to probes of varying sizes and surface chemistries. We found that the motion of negatively charged, carboxylated microspheres in mucus from pregnant patients was significantly restricted compared to ovulating patients, but not significantly different between high- and low-risk pregnant women. In contrast, charged peptide probes small enough to avoid steric interactions, but sensitive to the biochemical modifications of mucus components exhibited significantly different transport profiles through mucus from high- and low-risk patients. Thus, although both microstructural rearrangements of the components of mucus as well as biochemical modifications to their adhesiveness may alter the overall permeability of the cervical mucus plug, our findings suggest that the latter mechanism plays a dominant role in the impairment of the function of this barrier during preterm birth. We expect that these probes may be readily adapted to study the mechanisms underlying disease progression on all mucosal epithelia, including those in the mouth, lungs, and gut.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Lung, Fetus, Obstetrics, Cervix, Mucus


Cleaning tasks may imply exposure to chemical agents with potential harmful effects to the respiratory system, and increased risk of asthma and respiratory symptoms among professional cleaners and in persons cleaning at home has been reported. The long-term consequences of cleaning agents on respiratory health are, however, not well described.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Respiratory system, Mucus