Antibiotics counteract the worsening of airway remodelling induced by infections in asthma

Valeria Lucini, Rocco Ciracì, Silvana Dugnani, Marilou Pannacci, Federica Pisati, Alessia Caronno, Giampaolo Tirone, Francesco Scaglione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Asthma is associated with structural remodelling processes, including basement membrane thickening, increased vascularity and smooth muscle alterations. It is known that respiratory infections are associated with asthma exacerbation; infections can worsen asthma symptoms and influence susceptibility to asthma onset. How infections affect asthma is not fully elucidated. It is possible that the immune response, due to recurrent infections, leads to the pathogen's eradication but also increases bronchial inflammation, which induces airway remodelling in asthmatic subjects. We evaluated how infection affects lung remodelling and inflammatory responses and assessed the impact of antibiotic treatment in a murine model of asthma. Ovalbumin-sensitised BALB/c mice were divided into control, mild and chronic asthmatics. A subset of animals in each group was infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae and was treated with antibiotics. The results show an increase in key lung remodelling factors in mice with chronic asthma, particularly those infected with S. pneumoniae. Notably, antibiotic therapy attenuated these effects. These findings demonstrate for the first time that prompt antibiotic therapy may be useful to reduce lung remodelling progression in infected asthmatic subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Antibiotics
  • Lung remodelling
  • Respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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