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What's new in respiratory infections and tuberculosis 2008–2010
  1. Jeremy S Brown1,
  2. Marc C I Lipman2,
  3. Heather J Zar3
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Centre for Respiratory Research, University College Medical School, Rayne Institute, London, UK
  2. 2Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, University College Medical School, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Jeremy S Brown, Centre for Respiratory Research, Department of Medicine, University College Medical School, Rayne Institute, London WC1E 6JJ, UK; jeremy.brown{at}


Over the past few years there have been an increasing number of research articles published in Thorax on respiratory tract infections (including tuberculosis) affecting children and adults. Although these articles cover a wide variety of areas, several broad themes can be discerned. These include greater interest in viral respiratory infections (partially stimulated by the recent influenza A pandemic), improved characterisation of who is at risk of community-acquired pneumonia and mycobacterial infection, research into better diagnostics and attempts to develop new or improved scoring scales for a range of respiratory infection syndromes. There have also been a limited number of articles on how to manage patients with respiratory infection, including describing the efficacy of prevention by vaccination. Overall, there has been a discernible emphasis on transferring advances in clinical science to actual clinical practice, with several papers using molecular methodologies or measuring levels of cytokines or other potential biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy in patients with lung infection. There have also been manuscripts linking specific pathogen genotypes to infection phenotype, an area that is likely to be increasingly important in explaining some of the variations in severity between patients with respiratory infection. However, many questions remain on the optimum strategies for the management and prevention of pneumonia, bronchiectasis and tuberculosis, and there remains a strong need for further clinical research in order to make substantial improvements in the management of patients with lung infection.

  • Aspergillus lung disease
  • bacterial infection
  • bronchiectasis
  • empyema
  • immunodeficiency
  • innate immunity
  • opportunist lung infections
  • pneumonia
  • paediatric lung disaese
  • tuberculosis
  • asthma guidelines
  • cystic fibrosis
  • exhaled airway markers
  • lung physiology
  • paediatric asthma
  • respiratory infection

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  • Funding JSB and MCIL work at UCLH/UCL which receives a proportion of funding from the Department of Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centre's funding scheme.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commisioned; internally peer reviewed.