SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Respiratory Infection and Oxidants


Oxidant pollutants in the atmosphere, particularly ozone and nitrogen dioxide, can injure components of the respiratory tract important in the defense against infection. Epidemiologic studies have not conclusively associated elevated oxidant levels with an increased incidence of respiratory infections, but considerable experimental evidence in animals links oxidant exposure to impaired antibacterial defense and alterations in various alveolar macrophage functions. Oxidants may impair the immune response to viral infection, and thus alter the manifestations of community-acquired infections. Current studies of human responses to ambient levels of oxidants may provide a framework for the extrapolation of animal data to humans, and may define specific mechanisms of injury.

Author Information

Frampton, MW
University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY
Roberts, NJ
University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY
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Developed by Committee: D22
Pages: 182–191
DOI: 10.1520/STP22837S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5085-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1262-9