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Host defence mechanisms of the respiratory system

Host defence mechanisms of the respiratory system

Paediatric Respiratory Reviews 1(2): 128-134

From the moment of the first breath at the time of birth, the respiratory system must be protected from numerous insults from the environment. The way in which the airways are prepared for these insults is by an extraordinarily effective defence system. This defence system includes mechanical as well as biochemical processes that work in an integrated way to safeguard the lungs. The airways have an efficient, highly vigilant, non-inflammatory anti-microbial defence system, capable of dealing with a wide spectrum of microbes, and provide lifelong protection of these vital mucosal surfaces. The different aspects of this defence system of the airways are discussed. The effectiveness of the system must be improved, especially in children prone to frequent respiratory infections like cystic fibrosis. Future research must be focused on restoring the defect in the defence mechanism, but also in a more appropriate shield against pathogenic micro-organisms.

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Accession: 046274763

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PMID: 12531105

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