Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flu-induced stress response is critical for resistance to secondary infection

Date:
February 19, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A new study reveals how infection with the influenza virus impacts the way that the immune system responds to subsequent infections. The research provides a new understanding of the physiological and pathological consequences of the flu.

A new study reveals how infection with the influenza virus impacts the way that the immune system responds to subsequent infections. The research, published in the February 18th issue of the journal Cell Host and Microbe, provides a new understanding of the physiological and pathological consequences of the flu.

Much of what is known about how the immune system protects against infection comes from studies examining exposure to a single pathogen. However, in the natural environment, organisms are commonly exposed to multiple infectious agents at the same time, so it is important to determine how the host's response to one pathogen alters its response to another. This is particularly relevant for infection with influenza because it is often accompanied by secondary bacterial infections that are more lethal that the initial viral infection.

"Several studies have demonstrated that infection with influenza virus can result in a suppression of the immune system," explains senior study author, Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov from the Department of Immunology at the Yale University School of Medicine. "However, these studies focused primarily on the local effects of influenza at the site of infection. The effect of influenza virus infection on the systemic immune response is less well understood."

Dr. Medzhitov's group examined the effects of influenza virus lung infection on the subsequent systemic response to bacterial infection using a well characterized mouse model of bacterial infection. Infection with influenza resulted in a profound suppression of the systemic antibacterial immune response. Somewhat surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the influenza-associated immunosuppression was due to an increased production of glucocorticoids (GC). GCs are produced in response to stress and are known to play a key role in regulating inflammation.

The researchers went on to show that the virus-induced GC production was necessary to control inflammation. Importantly, although mice without GCs were better able to suppress the secondary bacterial infection and had a relatively normal response to infection with a single pathogen, the lack of GC production in the co-infected mice caused a lethal excessive inflammatory response.

The authors proposed that lung damage caused by infection with influenza triggered the stress response and GC production. "We have delineated a mechanism by which infection with influenza virus, through the induction of GC, leads to suppression of the systemic immune response to a secondary bacterial infection," says Dr. Medzhitov. "However, we also found that the induction of GC is critical for survival of co-infection."

The researchers include Amanda M. Jamieson, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Shuang Yu, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Charles H. Annicelli, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; and Ruslan Medzhitov, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Flu-induced stress response is critical for resistance to secondary infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217122216.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, February 19). Flu-induced stress response is critical for resistance to secondary infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217122216.htm
Cell Press. "Flu-induced stress response is critical for resistance to secondary infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217122216.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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:
from the past week

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