Inderscience Publishers

Mechanism of action and therapeutic efficacy of the biotechnology-derived immunostimulating extract OM-85 in respiratory tract infections

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The burden of Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs) in children and adults is very high, especially in developing countries. At least 1.9 million children throughout the world died from acute RTIs in 2000, 70% of them in Africa and Southeast Asia. As causative therapies of these frequently recurring infections have substantial limits, preventive measures deserve priority. Among these, non-specific immunostimulation with bacterial extracts has been shown to prevent recurrent RTIs and to be very safe. The aim of this review is to focus on the immunostimulating agent OM-85, a biotechnology-derived lyophilised extract from eight bacteria frequently responsible for RTIs and formulated for oral administration. The topics will cover its pharmacological effects, its actions in clinical practice regarding both efficiency and safety, as well as pharmacoeconomic studies. A particular emphasis will be put on trials conducted in children, in adults suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and in special patient populations.

Keywords: immunostimulation, immunomodulation, OM-85, Broncho-Vaxom, respiratory tract infections, RTIs, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, COPD, bronchitis, sinusitis, respiratory infections, biotechnology, pharmacological effects, actions mechanisms, clinical practice, efficiency, safety, pharmacoeconomic studies, oral vaccine

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