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  • 1 Fachbereich Tropenmedizin am Bernhard-Nocht-Institut, Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2 Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Virologie und Hygiene, Universitätsklinikum Rostock, Rostock, Germany
  • 3 Praxis Dr. Jungblut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 4 Abteilung für Pneumologie, Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik (DKD), Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 5 Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 6 Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 57, D-37075, Göttingen, Germany
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Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is extensively influenced by viral infections. The mechanisms of how viral agents affect the pathogenesis and prognosis of COPD are numerous. In general, patients with infectious exacerbations are characterized by longer hospitalization periods and greater impairment of several lung function parameters than those with non-infectious exacerbations. Prodromal, clinical, and outcome parameters fail to distinguish virally from non-virally induced illnesses in cases of exacerbations. The importance of infections with respiratory and non-respiratory viral agents for pathogenesis and course of COPD is detailed. Human adenovirus, non-respiratory viruses including human immunodeficiency virus, human metapneumovirus, influenza virus, human rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus are especially stressed.

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