Relationship between "purulent bronchitis" in military populations in Europe prior to 1918 and the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2012 Jul;6(4):235-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00309.x. Epub 2011 Nov 27.


Purulent bronchitis was a distinctive and apparently new lethal respiratory infection in British and American soldiers during the First World War. Mortality records suggest that purulent bronchitis caused localized outbreaks in the midst of a broad epidemic wave of lethal respiratory illness in 1916-1917. Probable purulent bronchitis deaths in the Australian Army showed an epidemic wave that moved from France to England. Purulent bronchitis may have been the clinical expression of infection with a novel influenza virus which also could have been a direct precursor of the 1918 pandemic strain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bronchitis / epidemiology*
  • Bronchitis / mortality
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / complications*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Pandemics*
  • Survival Analysis