Alcohol Abuse, the Alveolar Macrophage and Pneumonia

There is clear evidence that even in otherwise healthy-appearing individuals who chronically consume excessive amounts of alcohol, alveolar macrophage immune capacity is impaired and, as a consequence, these individuals are at significantly increased risk of pneumonia. This brief review summarizes some of the key mechanisms underlying this phenomenon and proposes a hypothetical scheme by which alcohol interferes with zinc bioavailability within the alveolar space and thereby dampens macrophage function.

Document Date: 1 March, 2012
Author: Ashish J. Mehta and others