Both innate and adaptive immune responses are critical to the control of influenza

June 28, 2012

Both innate and adaptive immune responses play an important role in controlling influenza virus infection, according to a study, published in the Open Access journal PLoS Computational Biology, by researchers from Oakland University, Michigan, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA.

Influenza, as a contagious respiratory illness remains a major public health problem worldwide. Seasonal and results in approximately 3 to 569 million cases of severe illness and approximately 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide. Although most infected subjects with intact immune systems are able to clear the virus without developing serious flu complications, the biological factors responsible for viral control remain unclear.

To investigate the factors for viral control, the researchers developed mathematical models that included both innate and adaptive immune responses to the virus. These models were used to study the viral dynamics of the in horses. After infection, viral levels rise rapidly, reach a peak and fall, then they attain a low plateau that can be followed in some animals by a second peak. Ultimately, viral levels decline and the infection is cleared. By comparing modeling predictions with experimental data, researchers examined the relative roles of availability of cells susceptible to infection, so-called , and innate and adaptive immune responses in controlling the virus.

The research showed that the two-part innate immune response, generated by , and the antiviral effect caused by interferon, a naturally produced protective molecule, can explain the first rapid viral decline and subsequent second viral peak. The second peak comes about because as the viral level falls, the immune response also falls allowing the virus the opportunity to grow back before the adaptive ultimately clears it.

However, for eventual viral clearance it is the body's that is needed.

The data analyzed were from equine influenza virus infection in horses. However, similar viral kinetic profiles have been observed in humans infected with the influenza virus. The authors conclude that the study can be used to explain the viral and interferon kinetics observed during a typical influenza virus infection.

Explore further: Researchers announce a discovery in how FluMist elicits protection

More information: Pawelek KA, Huynh GT, Quinlivan M, Cullinane A, Rong L, et al. (2012) Modeling Within-Host Dynamics of Influenza Virus Infection Including Immune Responses. PLoS Comput Biol 8(6): e1002588. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002588

Related Stories

Researchers announce a discovery in how FluMist elicits protection

August 23, 2011
New research from the Trudeau Institute may help to explain why live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), commonly known as FluMist, elicits protection. The research is published in this month's issue of Vaccine. The journal ...

Study reveals flu-fighting role for well-known immune component

June 26, 2012
University of Georgia scientists have discovered a new flu-fighting role for a well-known component of the immune system. Kimberly Klonowski, assistant professor of cellular biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and ...

Antibodies are not required for immunity against some viruses

March 1, 2012
A new study turns the well established theory that antibodies are required for antiviral immunity upside down and reveals that an unexpected partnership between the specific and non-specific divisions of the immune system ...

Lipid blocks influenza infection

November 9, 2011
A natural lipid in the fluid lining the lungs inhibits influenza infections in both cell cultures and mouse models, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. These findings, combined with previous studies demonstrating ...

Recommended for you

Long-lasting blood vessel repair in animals via stem cells

October 23, 2017
Stem cell researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have made an advance toward having a long-lasting "repair caulk" for blood vessels. The research could form the basis of a treatment for peripheral artery disease, ...

Study reveals connection between microbiome and autoimmune disorders

October 23, 2017
Many people associate the word "bacteria" with something dirty and disgusting. Dr. Pere Santamaria disagrees. Called the microbiome, the bacteria in our bodies have all kinds of positive effects on our health, Santamaria ...

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.