Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flu helps spread pneumonia

Date:
April 11, 2011
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis are only able to spread when individuals are infected with flu, according to an expert. The work could have implications for the management of influenza pandemics and could help reduce incidence of pneumococcal infections in very young children, who are more susceptible to disease.

Bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis are only able to spread when individuals are infected with flu, says a scientist reporting at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. The work could have implications for the management of influenza pandemics and could help reduce incidence of pneumococcal infections in very young children, who are more susceptible to disease.

Related Articles


Streptococcus pneumoniae normally lives harmlessly in the nasal passage. Up to 80% of young children carry the bacterium in their nose. It is already known that if a colonized individual is infected with influenza virus, the bacterium is more likely to spread to other parts of the body and may cause potentially life-threatening infections such as pneumonia, sepsis or meningitis. Young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are most vulnerable to these secondary bacterial infections. S. pneumoniae kills more than one million children under the age of five each year.

Dr Dimitri Diavatopoulos from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in The Netherlands explains how infection with the flu virus is also necessary for transmitting S. pneumoniae between individuals. His work has shown that in infant mice, all mice had to be infected with flu for pneumococcal bacteria to efficiently spread between them. Blocking influenza infection in these mice effectively prevented the spread of the bacterium.

Viral infection is likely to encourage the spread of pneumonia through a combination of factors, suggested Dr Diavatopoulos. "We think that the flu virus increases the bacterial load in the nose of colonized individuals but also makes uncolonized individuals more susceptible to pneumococcal infection by altering host immunity."

Dr Diavatopoulos believes that learning how viral infections affect not only the development but also the spread of bacterial pathogens will be clinically beneficial. "If we know that the flu virus -- and potentially other respiratory viruses -- allows the transmission of S. pneumoniae, then targeting these viruses may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce pneumococcal diseases," he said. "During influenza pandemic planning, when a high proportion of the population is infected with the virus, this is important. The findings are particularly relevant to childcare centres as up to 80% of children are asymptomatic carriers of S. pneumonia and are more vulnerable to developing serious infections such as pneumonia or meningitis."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Flu helps spread pneumonia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194707.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2011, April 11). Flu helps spread pneumonia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194707.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Flu helps spread pneumonia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110410194707.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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