Premature infants suffer significant respiratory morbidity during infancy with long-term negative consequences on health, quality of life, and health care costs. Enhanced susceptibility to a variety of infections and inflammation play a large role in early and prolonged lung disease following premature birth, although the mechanisms of susceptibility and immune dysregulation are active areas of research. This article reviews aspects of host-pathogen interactions and immune responses that are altered by preterm birth and that impact chronic respiratory morbidity in these children.
Keywords: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Chronic lung disease of prematurity; Lymphocytes; Neonatal immunology; Neonatal infection; Prematurity; Preterm; Virus.
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