Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have mapped key elements of a severe immune overreaction—a "cytokine storm"—that can both sicken and kill patients who are infected with certain strains of flu virus.
Their findings, published in this week's online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
also clarify the workings of a potent new class of anti-inflammatory
compounds that prevent this immune overreaction in animal models.
"We show that with this type of drug, we can quiet the storm enough
to interfere with the virus-induced disease and lung injury, while still
allowing the infected host to mount a sufficient immune response to
eliminate the virus," said John R. Teijaro, an assistant professor in
TSRI's Department of Immunology and Microbial Science and first author
of the study. READ MORE
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