University of Wisconsin-Madison
How Influenza Virus and Immune System Response Damage Lungs
Influenza is a serious public health threat and a major cause of acute lung damage. A robust, yet measured, immune response is essential for successful control of influenza virus infection and to limit damage to lung tissue. Severe disease, however, is associated with a hyperactive immune response that results in lung cell death, and can be fatal. We will study the contributions of the virus and the immune system that directs protective versus damaging responses in the lungs. Our findings could lay the groundwork for new treatment strategies and may also have implications for other lung infections.