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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Apr;12(4):252-62. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3231. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

The co-pathogenesis of influenza viruses with bacteria in the lung.

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1] Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38103, USA. [2] Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Concern that a highly pathogenic virus might cause the next influenza pandemic has spurred recent research into influenza and its complications. Bacterial superinfection in the lungs of people suffering from influenza is a key element that promotes severe disease and mortality. This co-pathogenesis is characterized by complex interactions between co-infecting pathogens and the host, leading to the disruption of physical barriers, dysregulation of immune responses and delays in a return to homeostasis. The net effect of this cascade can be the outgrowth of the pathogens, immune-mediated pathology and increased morbidity. In this Review, advances in our understanding of the underlying mechanisms are discussed, and the key questions that will drive the field forwards are articulated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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