Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Allergy. 2019 Sep 11. doi: 10.1111/all.14047. [Epub ahead of print]

Pollen exposure weakens innate defense against respiratory viruses.

Author information

1
Chair and Institute of Environmental Medicine, UNIKA-T, Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Zentrum München, Augsburg, Germany.
2
University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine, Academic Unit of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Southampton, United Kingdom.
3
Southampton NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, SO16 6YD, United Kingdom.
4
Utrecht University, Faculty of Science, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5
Nutricia Research, Department of Immunology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Infectious Diseases/Clinical Virology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
7
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
8
ENT Department, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
9
Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University Zurich, Davos, Switzerland.
10
Christine-Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-Care), Davos, Switzerland.
11
The Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hundreds of plant species release their pollen into the air every year during early spring. During that period, pollen allergic as well as non-allergic patients frequently present to doctors with severe respiratory tract infections.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether pollen may interfere with antiviral immunity.

METHODS:

We combined data from real life human exposure cohorts, a mouse model and human cell culture to test our hypothesis.

RESULTS:

Pollen significantly diminished interferon-λ and pro-inflammatory chemokine responses of airway epithelia to rhinovirus and viral mimics and decreased nuclear translocation of interferon regulatory factors. In mice infected with respiratory syncytial virus, co-exposure to pollen caused attenuated antiviral gene expression and increased pulmonary viral titers. In non-allergic human volunteers, nasal symptoms were positively correlated with airborne birch pollen abundance, and nasal birch pollen challenge led to down-regulation of type I and -III interferons in nasal mucosa. In a large patient cohort, numbers of rhinovirus-positive cases were correlated with airborne birch pollen concentrations.

CONCLUSION:

The ability of pollen to suppress innate antiviral immunity, independent of allergy, suggests that high-risk population groups should avoid extensive outdoor activities when pollen and respiratory virus seasons coincide.

KEYWORDS:

Pollen; antiviral response; lambda-interferones; nasal symptoms; non-allergenic pollen compounds; respiratory syncytial virus; rhinovirus

PMID:
31512243
DOI:
10.1111/all.14047

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center