The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of the thin sheet of mucus which covers the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. I shall confine my consideration to normal mucous membrane and the slight variation which may occur at the start of an acute cold. For several years I have thought that the value of constantly maintaining a mucus covering on the epithelium of the upper respiratory tract, especially that of the nose, has been dismissed too lightly. Suppose the glands which secrete this material should be out of operation for an hour; there would be sufficient departure from the normal condition to allow any prevailing invader, be it a recognized germ or a so-called filtrable virus, to pass the first line of defense. This same thought was expressed in a paper which I read before the Indiana Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology in 1934.1
LEASURE JK. THE MUCUS SHEET ON RESPIRATORY MUCOUS MEMBRANE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;33(1):66–71. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660030067004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: