Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?

Date:
May 6, 2009
Source:
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Summary:
The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and continues to spread around the globe may be particularly dangerous for young, otherwise healthy adults as it may be able to induce a "cytokine storm," in which a patient's hyper-activated immune system causes potentially fatal damage to the lungs.

The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and continues to spread around the globe may be particularly dangerous for young, otherwise healthy adults as it may be able to induce a "cytokine storm," in which a patient's hyper-activated immune system causes potentially fatal damage to the lungs.

Related Articles


Research studies and review articles exploring the regulation of cytokine responses in the lung and how infection-related dysregulation can cause a cytokine storm have been published in Viral Immunology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..

A cytokine storm occurs when the body's immune system over-reacts to an intruder, such as a virus, by producing high levels of cytokines, which are signaling chemicals that help mobilize immune cells capable of removing infectious agents from the body. When too many cytokines are produced, they can stimulate an inflammatory response in which the accumulation of immune cells and fluid at the site of infection may prevent affected tissues and organs such as the lungs from functioning properly and may even cause death.

Some influenza viruses can cause an unusually high proportion of deaths among healthy young adults with well-functioning immune systems who become infected, possibly due to this cytokine storm phenomenon. This phenomenon may also explain why the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, for example, was also particularly deadly for young healthy adults.

David L. Woodland, PhD, Editor-in Chief of Viral Immunology, and President and Director of the Trudeau Institute, Inc. (Saranac Lake, NY), emphasizes that much is still not known about the current influenza outbreak and the human/avian combination virus causing it. "We do not know how long ago this virus emerged, how deadly it is, whether it has pandemic potential, how the severity of infection relates to patient age, and why some infected patients die—whether a cytokine storm is responsible for these deaths," says Woodland.

What we do know, he adds, is that some H1N1 viruses have pandemic potential and that historical evidence supports the possibility that young healthy adults may be especially susceptible to more severe infection and poor outcomes due to the ability of a strong immune system to initiate a cytokine storm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505174547.htm>.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. (2009, May 6). Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505174547.htm
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505174547.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins