Chlamydia pneumoniae:A New Possible Cause of Asthma

  • D. L. Hahn
  • L. Allegra


Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition of uncertain etiology and often multifactorial that is characterized by chronic bronchial inflammation and airway hyperreactivity that result in episodes of reversible airway obstruction usually manifested as symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and wheeze triggered by a variety of stimuli [1]. Earlier in this century it was generally believed that focal infections were one cause of asthma [2]. Nowadays most experts believe that asthma is exclusively a noninfectious inflammatory lung condition, although a role for viral infections as triggers of asthma exacerbations is widely acknowledged [1]. The current belief in an exclusively noninfectious cause for asthma is based in part on the lack of effectiveness, in producing longlasting asthma remissions, of antibiotic treatment of conventional respiratory pathogens. Recent evidence suggests a causal role for the atypical respiratory pathogen, Chlamydia pneumoniae, in the initiation, exacerbation and promotion of asthma [3]. Eradication of this organism from the respiratory tract is difficult and often requires longer than conventional courses of specific antichlamydial antibiotics. It is not likely that antibiotic treatment directed against traditional pyogenic bacteria would eradicate C. pneumoniae.


Acute Respiratory Illness Geometric Mean Titer Reactive Airway Disease Asthmatic Bronchitis Strain TWAR 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Hahn
  • L. Allegra

There are no affiliations available

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