Bronchitis often occurs as a result of chest infections which begin as a common cold. In serious cases, hospitalisation may be necessary. The typical symptoms of bronchitis are chills, tiredness, tight chest, breathing difficulties and in more severe cases, the coughing up of phlegm. The causative agent has been identified as the infectious Haemophilus influenza. Smokers, the elderly, people who work in dirty or dusty environments, and people with damaged lungs are those most at risk of developing chest infections and thus bronchitis.
The vaccine Broncostat was developed in 1985 by Professor Robert Clancy at the University of Newcastle and commercialised four years later by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Australia Pty Ltd. Broncostat significantly increases the resistance to the infectious influenza by stimulating the body's natural immune system, reducing attacks of acute bronchitis by up to 90% and providing immunity against Haemophilus influenza for up to six months.