Cytokine treatment of bacterial pneumonia

Semin Respir Infect. 2001 Mar;16(1):38-46. doi: 10.1053/srin.2001.22727.


The lungs represent the largest epithelial surface area of the body and are repeatedly exposed to a variety of potential pathogens. The respiratory system has, therefore, developed an elaborate system of defense mechanisms to maintain the sterility of the lower airways. In the event of a defect, either developmental or acquired of any component of these defenses, the host is rendered susceptible to infection of the respiratory tract. Conventional therapy primarily focuses on the selection of appropriate antibiotic therapy and institution of supportive measures. In this article, we discuss emerging immune-based strategies in the treatment of pneumonia that are primarily focused on amplification of the host defense system through the administration of cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence / drug effects
  • Immunocompetence / immunology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia / immunology


  • Cytokines