Title: E-cigarette exposures, respiratory tract infections, and impaired innate immunity: a narrative review.
Authors: Kalininskiy, Aleks; Kittel, Julie; Nacca, Nicholas E; Misra, Ravi S; Croft, Daniel P; McGraw, Matthew D
Published In Pediatr Med, (2021 Feb)
Abstract: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are commonly used devices by adolescents and young adults. Since their introduction, the popularity of e-cigarettes has increased significantly with close to twenty percent of United States high school students reporting current use in 2020. As the number of e-cigarette users has increased, so have reports of vaping related health complications. Overall, respiratory tract infections remain one of the top ten leading causes of death in the US for every age group. Specific to the pediatric population, lower respiratory tract infections are the leading cause for hospitalization. This review highlights the current evidence behind e-cigarette exposure and its association with impaired innate immune function and the risk of lower respiratory tract infections. To date, various preclinical models have evaluated the direct effects of e-cigarette exposure on the innate immune system. More specifically, e-cigarette exposure impairs certain cell types of the innate immune system including the airway epithelium, lung macrophage and neutrophils. Identified effects of e-cigarette exposure common to the lung's innate immunity include abnormal mucus composition, reduced epithelial barrier function, impaired phagocytosis and elevated systemic markers of inflammation. These identified impairments in the lung's innate immunity have been shown to increase adhesion of certain bacteria and fungi as well as to increase virulence of common respiratory pathogens such as influenza virus, Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae. Information summarized in this review will provide guidance to healthcare providers, policy advocates and researchers for making informed decisions regarding the associated respiratory health risks of e-cigarette use in pediatric and young adults.
PubMed ID: 34095814
MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication