Clearance of Bacteria by the Lower Respiratory Tract

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Science  20 Dec 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3599, pp. 1572-1573
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3599.1572


The disappearance of inhaled bacteria from the lungs of mice is rapid and predictable over an 8-hour period following pulmonary implantation by an aerosol. This indicates that important clearance mechanisms are active in the bronchopulmonary tree. The constant pattern of clearance offers an experimental system in which the effects of various conditions relevant to respiratory infection can be estimated quantitatively. Herein, the effects of hypoxia, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and cortisone are described.