Mechanisms of Stress-Mediated Modulation of Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;874:215-23. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-20215-0_10.


Stress is an external factor known to be a potent exacerbator of respiratory infections. Most explanations of how stress affects susceptibility to airway infections focus on the immune system. However, evidence is increasing that respiratory pathogens are equally responsive to the hormonal output of stress. This chapter considers the bacterial and mucosal determinants of respiratory tract infections and their interrelationship during stressful conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*