Infectious Respiratory Diseases

Infectious respiratory diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that can affect the upper (e.g. common cold, sinusitis) and lower (e.g. bronchitis, pneumonia) airways in an acute or a chronic manner. Not only do respiratory infections produce symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, cough or excess mucus production, they may also exacerbate existing respiratory conditions including asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), leading to airway hyperresponsiveness, airflow obstruction or alterations in gas exchanges. Lower respiratory tract infections (e.g. pneumonia) can result in hospitalization, respiratory failure, or manifestation of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).



The flexiVent’s unique ability to measure central vs. peripheral airways resistance, combined with a delivered dose estimator and an automated dose-response feature permits unique and novel insights into inflammatory responses and evolution of lung function throughout the progression of infectious respiratory diseases.

As respiratory infection induces airway hyperresponsiveness and mucus hypersecretion, the flexiVent can be used to both deliver aerosol challenges to a subject’s lungs and follow the developing bronchoconstriction through automated data collection. The software calculates and displays an estimate of the dose delivered to the subject’s airway opening. Furthermore, detailed dose-response curves demonstrating airway hyperresponsiveness are computed and graphed in real-time.


The administration of drugs or novel therapeutic carriers through inhalation is a desirable route for many preclinical models of respiratory infection. The large surface area and high vascularization of the lung can provide a fast and effective delivery of substances either locally or systemically, via the blood. When considering inhalation as the route for drug delivery, the inExpose standardizes experimental conditions providing reproducible and relevant animal models. Integrated with the Aeroneb nebulizer, the inExpose provides sophisticated computer control which enables automated, precise, and repeatable aerosol exposure sessions to small laboratory animals. Furthermore, the inExpose offers small internal volumes, reducing exposure ramp-up times and minimizing the need for large quantities of material.



In preclinical disease models, the analysis of ventilatory patterns in conscious subjects could prove to be useful for continuous tracking of the progression of  infectious respiratory diseases over time.

Plethysmography, as a non-invasive technique, offers a powerful means of rapidly screening subjects based on changes in ventilatory parameters (e.g. breathing frequency, tidal volume, peak inspiratory or expiratory flows) following respiratory infection. Additionally, enhanced pause (Penh) is an indicator of airway obstruction and morbidity, that quantifies changes in the shape of the breathing waveform. Events such as coughing and apneas can also be detected and monitored.