Development of Acute Bronchitis
The bronchi are respiratory tract passages, or airways, that conduct air into the lungs (Moore 2013). Acute bronchitis is commonly thought of as a reversible inflammatory response that occurs as a result of infection or irritation of the cells that form the internal lining of the bronchi (called the epithelium) (Hueston 1998; Wenzel 2006). The inflammation and irritation associated with acute bronchitis is caused by the release of pro-inflammatory molecules by cells involved in the immune response. Viruses that infect the host in the course of acute bronchitis also affect the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These reactive molecules further incite the immune response and damage the epithelial cell membranes (Selemidis 2013).