Defense mechanisms against infections

Herbert Y. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Respiratory infections remain common and may be more difficult to treat because new microbes have been identified; commensal flora can become pathogens; and antibiotic resistance is developing, especially to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Contributing to the severity of pneumonia is the increasing number of more susceptible hosts-immunodeficient patients, created as a by-product of modern medical therapy or from infection with HIV, and elderly patients who have associated illnesses. Better strategies to replete immunocompromised hosts are required. Vaccination to modify infection with S. pneumoniae must be given higher priority by health care providers. New means to immunize the respiratory mucosal surface are needed. Research approaches to consider involve 1) targeting (carrying) relevant antigens to appropriate antigen-processing cells in the airways, eg, dendritic cells; and 2) coupling the immunomodulatory effects of cytokines, eg, interleukin-12. Interleukin-12, for example, can stimulate mucosal antibody responses producing S-IgA and IgG and cause T lymphocytes to produce interferon-γ that can enhance microbial killing by macrophages. Curr Opin Pulm Med 1999, 5:136-142

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Defense mechanisms against infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this