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Updated time: 24 Mar 2021
Definition: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide affecting all age groups from children to the elderly. In addition to other factors such as smoking, air pollution and atopy, some environmental chemicals are shown or suspected to increase the risk of asthma, exacerbate asthma symptoms and cause other respiratory symptoms.
Updated time: 24 May 2021
Definition: Recent scientific literature has investigated the cardiovascular implications of COVID-19. The mechanisms of cardiovascular damage seem to involve the protein angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), to which severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus-2 (CoV-2) binds to penetrate cells and other mechanisms, most of which are still under study. Cardiovascular sequelae of COVID-19 include heart failure, cardiomyopathy, acute coronary syndrome, arrhythmias, and venous thromboembolism.
Updated time: 02 Jul 2021
Definition: Viral pneumonia is one the most frequent respiratory diseases among very young people and the elderly, contributing to an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths, mainly in subjects over 60 years of age. To assess the presence of pulmonary involvement and extension of disease, diagnostic imaging techniques are traditional chest radiographs (CXR) and computed tomography (CT). CXR may show a negative radiological pattern or otherwise areas of monolateral or bilateral consolidations, in association with nodular opacities, bronchial wall thickening, and small pleural effusions.
Updated time: 14 Jul 2021
Definition: In smoking-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), various comorbidities are linked to systemic inflammation and infection-induced exacerbations. The underlying mechanisms are unclear but might provide therapeutic targets. T-cell activity is central in systemic inflammation and for infection-defense mechanisms and might be influenced by comorbidities. Hypothesis: Circulating biomarkers of comorbidities modulate the activity of T-cells of the T-helper type 1 (Th1) and/or T-cytotoxic type 1 (Tc1). T-cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from non-smokers (NS), current smokers without COPD (S), and COPD subjects (total n = 34) were ex vivo activated towards Th1/Tc1 and were then stimulated with biomarkers for metabolic and/or cardiovascular comorbidities (Brain Natriuretic Peptide, BNP; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 18, CCL18; C-X3-C motif chemokine ligand 1, CX3CL1; interleukin-18, IL-18) or for asthma- and/or cancer-related comorbidities (CCL22; epidermal growth factor, EGF; IL-17; periostin) each at 10 or 50 ng/mL. The Th1/Tc1 activation markers interferon-γ (IFNγ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were analyzed in culture supernatants by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Ex-vivo activation induced IFNγ and TNFα without differences between the groups but GM-CSF more in S vs. NS. At 10 ng/mL, the different biomarkers increased or reduced the T-cell activation markers without a clear trend for one direction in the different categories of comorbidities or for the different T-cell activation markers. At 50 ng/mL, there was a clear shift towards suppressive effects, particularly for the asthma— and cancer-related biomarkers and in cells of S and COPD. Comorbidities might suppress T-cell immunity in COPD. This could explain the association of comorbidities with frequent exacerbations.
Updated time: 05 Jul 2021
Definition: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are known in veterinary medicine affecting several species, and causing respiratory and/or enteric, systemic diseases and reproductive disease in poultry. Animal diseases caused by CoVs may be considered from the following different perspectives: livestock and poultry CoVs cause mainly “population disease”; while in companion animals they are a source of mainly “individual/single subject disease”. Therefore, respiratory CoVs diseases in high-density, large populations of livestock or poultry may be a suitable example for the current SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic.
Updated time: 27 Apr 2021
Definition: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus responsible for the pandemic viral pneumonia that was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and has since rapidly spread around the world. The number of COVID-19 cases recorded in pediatric age is around 1% of the total. The immunological mechanisms that lead to a lower susceptibility or severity of pediatric patients are not entirely clear. At the same time, the immune dysregulation found in those children who developed the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIC-S) is not yet fully understood.
Updated time: 05 May 2021
Definition: Translating the experience from previous viral epidemics, passive immunotherapy by means of plasma from individuals recovered from COVID-19 has been intensively investigated since the beginning of the pandemic.
Updated time: 22 Jul 2021
Definition: Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare, under-recognized disease that affects respiratory ciliary function, resulting in chronic oto-sino-pulmonary disease. The PCD clinical phenotype overlaps with other common respiratory conditions and no single diagnostic test detects all forms of PCD. In 2018, PCD experts collaborated with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) to create a clinical diagnostic guideline for patients across North America, specifically considering the local resources and limitations for PCD diagnosis in the United States and Canada. Nasal nitric oxide (nNO) testing is recommended for first-line testing in patients ≥5 years old with a compatible clinical phenotype; however, all low nNO values require confirmation with genetic testing or ciliary electron micrograph (EM) analysis. Furthermore, these guidelines recognize that not all North American patients have access to nNO testing and isolated genetic testing is appropriate in cases with strong clinical PCD phenotypes. For unresolved diagnostic cases, referral to a PCD Foundation accredited center is recommended.
Updated time: 25 Jun 2021
Definition: The gut microbiota is often mentioned as a “forgotten organ” or “metabolic organ”, given its profound impact on host physiology, metabolism, immune function and nutrition. A healthy diet is undoubtedly a major contributor for promoting a “good” microbial community that turns out to be crucial for a fine-tuned symbiotic relationship with the host. Meanwhile, diet is a key modifiable factor influencing the gut microbiota in several lung diseases.
Updated time: 15 Jun 2021
Definition: Wastewater-based epidemiology describes the idea of early detection of a virus, e.g., SARS-CoV-2, in wastewater in order to focus on the area of virus occurrence and supplement the results obtained from clinical examination. By monitoring temporal variation in viral loads in wastewater in combination with other analysis, a virus outbreak can be detected and its spread can be suppressed early. The use of biosensors for virus detection also seems to be an interesting application. Biosensors are highly sensitive, selective, and portable and offer a way for fast analysis.