Objective: To study latent adenovirus infection in the stable stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD).
Method: The bronchial epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages from 12 patients with chronic bronchitis, 10 patients with COPD, 6 patients with asthma and 8 healthy volunteers were obtained by bronchosocpy. The adenoviral DNA was determined in the epithelial cells and macrophages. All patients were in the stable stage. The polymerase chain reaction(PCR) was used for detection of the adenoviral genome E1A.
Results: The E1A region of adenovirus was found in the epithelial cells of COPD and chronic bronchitis patients (27%), not found in the patients with asthma and normal volunteers. Furthermore, E1A DNA was much more commonly in the COPD patients (50%) than in the patients with chronic bronchitis (8%) (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Latent adenoviral infection was present in the stable stage of COPD and may be related to the pathogenesis of the disease.