Lallemand Pharma

Respiratory Health

The immunity of respiratory tract is ensured by the mucosal surfaces: nasal; oral; sublingual; and bronchial. Within these mucosas, numerous cells of innate and specific immunity play an important role of immuno-surveillance, protecting our respiratory tract from invading pathogens that can trigger infections.

The innate immune cells constitute the first line of defenses and involve macrophages, Langerhans cells and dendritic cells ensuring the surveillance along the mucosa. In case of invasion from pathogens, these sentinels will capture and present the pathogens to lymphocytes, triggering the activation of all the immune cascade and specific immunity.

The specific immunity role is to destroy specifically invading pathogens and the toxic molecules they produce, it is ensured by two types of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells.

Discover the immune cells process on Lallemand Pharma YouTube channel

  • URTI : Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
  • LRTI : Lower Respiratory Tract Infections
  • AECOPD : Acute Exacerbations in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

Acute Exacerbation Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It is a progressive Chronic disease which is characterised by a decline in respiratory function and the worsening of symptoms provoke what are known as exacerbation.

The frequence of exacerbations has an impact on individual’s life expectancy. Moreover, they represent a significant cause of hospital admission and readmission. Acute exacerbations are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with AECOPD.

AECOPD is the fourth leading cause of death and affects over 210 million people worldwide. In Europe, the prevalence in adult population has been estimated between 4-10 % . The development of AECOPD is not completely understood and may also depend on gender, genetic and socioeconomic factors (exposures to dusts, chemicals, pollutants).

The principal risks factor associated with AECOPD are :

  • Smoking, (50 % of chronic smokers develop AECOPD).
  • Air pollution and chemical fumes or dust from the environment.
  • Genetics, in rare cases (deficiency of a protein which is called alpha-1 antitrypsin).

Two main forms of COPD exist : chronic bronchitis and emphysema :

  • Chronic bronchitis is a cough with sputum production on most days during 3 months per year, for two consecutive years.
  • Emphysema is an enlargement of the air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles with destruction of their walls (which reduces the surface available for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide).

Acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) are commonly triggered by bacterial or viral pathogens and also pollutants. Typically, infections cause 75% or more of the exacerbations, bacteria alone can be found in roughly 25% of cases, viruses in another 25%, and viruses and bacteria coinfection in another 25%.

Furthermore, other factors may provoke exacerbations, such as environmental pollution (nitrogen dioxide)

Main pathogens involved in AECOPD
VirusesRhinovirus (66%), Influenza, Parainfluenza, Coronavirus Adenovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Picornavirus, Metapneumovirus.
BacteriaHaemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Pseudomonas aeruginosas.

The most common pathogens responsible for AECOPD

Main viruses

  • Rhinovirus (66%)
  • Influenza
  • Parainfluenza
  • Respiratory syncitial virus
  • Picornavirus
  • Metapneumovirus
  • Coronavirus

Main bacteria

  • Noncapsulated Haemophilus influenzae
  • Moraxella catharrhalis
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the koch bacillus Mycoplasma tuberculosis which attacks the lungs but may involve any other body part, especially bones and brain in case of inadequate containment by the immune system. Various tuberculosis causes exist, among them: weak immune system, poverty, vicious life, no strict hygiene, alcoholism. In 2008, there was an estimated 9.4 million incident cases of tuberculosis and the prevalence of the disease is estimated to be 200 per 100 000 population in the world. In Europe, the number of tuberculosis cases was 322 310 in 2008 and the annual cost is estimated to 2.1 billion euros per year.

Tuberculosis bacteria are transmitted through air from one person to another via small droplets of saliva produced when speaking, coughing, sneezing.

When the inhaled tuberculosis bacteria enter the lungs, they can multiply and cause a local lung infection (pneumonia). In most patients, within weeks from infection, the immune system limits propagation of tuberculosis infection resulting in asymptomatic that may remain in the body for many years. About 5 % of infected persons will develop the disease.


Estimate of TB incidence by country in 2008.
WHO report 2009 global tuberculosis control

Right after our birth, bacteria colonize our skin and our mucosa, bacteria regroup themselves and organize a life in communities called the Biofilm.
Indeed all bacteria build a protective matrix that allow them to adhere to the skin and the mucosa, to enjoy a protective scaffold against defenses of the immune system.
The slyme of the biofilm will feed bacteria and allow a perfect communication between them.

Learn more about Respiratory microbiota, Biofilms and Symbiofilm in our Partners area.

Nasal Hygiene should be an important part of your daily routine, as the nose it’s your first line of defense against upper respiratory tract infections and allergies.

If you think that your nose is just for breathing, you may believe that this kind of habit could be just a vanity but it’s not.

What is Nasal Hygiene and is it a good habit?

The true nasal hygiene is the practice of keeping your nostrils and sinuses clean and moisturized.

Keeping your nose clean participates to the improvement of your defenses against cold, rhinopharyngitis and hayfever.

It is a highly effective filter to your body, filtering over 15000 litres of air a day, doing its best to filter out dust, pollution and allergens looking to enter into your body through your nasal passages.

The tiny hairs called cilia can trap these intruders and carry them away to the back of your throat before they have a chance to adhere to your nasal mucosa and multiply.

If the inside of your nose is dry or clogged, it cannot be efficient in keeping you healthy.

Having the habit of keeping your nose clean and moisturized can help defending against the airborn contaminants you breath in.

It helps to prevent the symptoms and reduces the risk of further problems.

Besides, pathogenic Bacteria and viruses that are responsible for upper respiratory tract infections are most of the time embedded in a protective shelter called biofilm.

Biofilm adheres to your nasal mucosa and offers an ideal protection to these “nasty” microorganisms against cells and molecules of your immune system.

So nasal hygiene is truly an important part of your daily routine and moreover using a product efficacious against the biofilm would be a better choice.