RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN BACTERIA, EXACERBATIONS, AND HOSPITALIZATIONS IN CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE
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Bacteria within the lower respiratory tract plays a critical role in the clinical course and pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Evidence suggests that acute exacerbations are attributable to bacteria, and these exacerbations have a significant impact on a patient’s health status and health services utilization. New bacterial strains play a central role in the pathogenesis of exacerbations, and acquisition of a new strain of potentially pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) is strongly associated with the occurrence of an exacerbation.