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Polyvalent Immunoglobulin as a Potential Treatment Option for Patients with Recurrent COPD Exacerbations

Authors Unninayar D, Abdallah SJ, Cameron DW, Cowan J

Received 24 September 2020

Accepted for publication 1 February 2021

Published 2 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 545—552


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Dana Unninayar,1 Sara J Abdallah,2 D William Cameron,2– 4 Juthaporn Cowan2– 4

1Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 2Clinical Epidemiology Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 4Centre of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence: Juthaporn Cowan
The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Box 223, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada
Tel +1 613-737-8899 X 79617
Fax +1 613-737-8352
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic airway inflammation and episodes of worsening respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function, termed acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD). AECOPD episodes are associated with heightened airway inflammation and are often triggered by infection. A subset of COPD patients develops frequent exacerbations despite maximal existing standard medical therapy. It is therefore clear that a targeted and more effective prevention strategy is needed. Immunoglobulins are glycoprotein molecules that are secreted by B lymphocytes and plasma cells and play a critical role in the adaptive immune response against many pathogens. Altered serum immunoglobulin levels have been observed in patients with immunodeficiencies and inflammatory diseases. Serum immunoglobulin has also been identified as potential biomarkers of AECOPD frequency. Since plasma-derived polyvalent immunoglobulin treatment is effective in preventing recurrent infections in immunodeficient patients and in suppressing inflammation in many inflammatory diseases, it may be conceivable that immunoglobulin treatment may be effective in preventing recurrent AECOPD. In this article, we provide a review of the current knowledge on immunoglobulin treatment in patients with COPD and discuss plausible mechanisms as to how immunoglobulin treatment may work to reduce AECOPD frequency.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immunoglobulin treatment, exacerbation

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