Immunity to the common cold virus: sex and age matter

Researchers in the UQ School of Medicine at Princess Alexandra Hospital have made an important discovery about how the immune system reacts to rhinoviruses, the viruses that usually cause the common cold.

The research team, led by Professor John Upham, found that young women make a much stronger to rhinoviruses than young men. These differences disappear after menopause, so they are probably regulated by .

Professor Upham said that these findings were crucially important for finding new ways of combating rhinoviruses.

“While these viruses are just a nuisance in healthy people, they can make people with asthma or other chronic lung diseases very unwell,” he said.

“In our efforts to find new ways to prevent these infections, we need to take into account the effects of hormones, and how they affect the .”

Professor Upham said the researchers were studying how the immune system worked — or didn't work — in people with asthma.

The researchers will further study the effects of hormones on the immune system, with long-term plans for development of a vaccine.

The research was recently published in the journal Respiratory Research.

More information: respiratory-research.com/content/11/1/184

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researcher finds there could be up to 200 cold viruses

Oct 19, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Bad news for the immune system: New research has boosted the number of likely common-cold viruses waiting to make you miserable from the long-accepted 100 to perhaps double that number.

Common cold may send some young children to the hospital

Feb 21, 2007

New evidence supports the link between a cause of the common cold and more severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. The study is published in the March 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Di ...

Marijuana use suppresses immune functions, study shows

Dec 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Smoking marijuana can trigger a suppression of the body’s immune functions, making cannabis users more susceptible to certain types of cancers and infections, according to a new study led by a University ...

Cell component involved in triggering cat allergy

Mar 08, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A breakthrough by scientists at The University of Nottingham could provide hope for any allergy sufferers who have ever had to choose between their health and their household pet.

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments