COPD patients at risk of dangerous bacterial infections
It is well known that COPD patients run a higher risk of contracting respiratory infections. However, a new thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows that they are also at higher risk of other bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis (TB) and pneumococcal and staphylococcal infections that can cause serious illness.
The abbreviation COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the disease makes it difficult for patients to breathe. However, the disease affects other organs as well as the lungs. It is also linked to an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart failure.
“Despite this, until now most focus has been on respiratory infections; infections in other organs have not been studied to the same extent”, says Dr Malin Inghammar.
In her thesis, Dr Inghammar has shown that individuals in Sweden who have been diagnosed with COPD have a three times higher risk of active tuberculosis than the population in general. They are also at higher risk of invasive pneumococcal disease, a type of infection that can cause meningitis and septicaemia.
In another study, Malin Inghammar has looked at the presence of bacteria in the blood of COPD patients and control subjects from the general population. A wide range of bacteria, such as coliform bacteria and staphylococcus aureus, were seen to be 2.5 times more frequent in the blood of patients with COPD.
Tuberculosis is a rare disease in Sweden, so the association between COPD and TB is not of great importance in Sweden. However, the association could be important for countries such as India and China, where TB is still a common disease and where smoking is on the increase. Doctors may need to have increased awareness of dangerous infection-causing bacteria in any country.
“The next step is to study what causes the link. Does the cortisone treatment that is usually given to COPD patients make them vulnerable to infections? Or is the susceptibility to infection due to other factors, such as the weight loss, muscle weakness and anaemia that are associated with the condition?” asks Malin Inghammar.
Her findings could in the future lead to changes in the treatment of COPD. If COPD patients are at extra high risk of hospital-acquired infections, then perhaps more care should be taken before admitting them to hospital, and greater reflection made on all the factors that could entail an increased risk of infection.
The thesis is entitled Epidemiological studies of severe infections in COPD and was presented on 11 January.
Malin Inghammar can be reached on +46 709 10 39 97 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...