About this Research Topic
Chronic upper airway inflammation is amongst the most prevalent chronic disease entities in the Western world with prevalence around 30% (rhinitis) and 11 % (rhinosinusitis). Chronic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis may severely impair the quality of life, leading to a significant socio-economic burden. One of the most well-known and best studied causes for chronic upper airway inflammation, is allergy. However, a substantial amount of the patients suffering from chronic upper airway diseases do not show any respiratory allergy, meaning other mechanisms are playing. Recently, more and more research has been attributed to unravel the mechanisms that trigger and/or maintain chronic respiratory inflammation, but still a lot of question marks persist. Inflammatory upper airway disease is believed to be the result of a mismatch between environmental factors (allergens, irritants, pathogens) and the immune system. The respiratory epithelium which forms a physiological as well as chemical barrier between the two systems is believed to play a central role in this homeostasis.
In this research topic we aim at giving an overview of the most recent scientific findings regarding both environmental as well as endogenous factors that might induce an inadequate immune response, caused by or leading to a dysfunctional epithelial barrier of the upper airways. These factors may all contribute more or less to the development or maintenance of rhinitis and rhinosinusitis.
Keywords: rhinitis, rhinosinusitis, polyps, epithelium, immunity
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