Recovering from flu? Beware of bugs

February 19th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb 19 (IANS) Recovery from flu may be great news, but it increases chances of bacterial infection, according to a new study. The study, by researchers at Imperial College in London, showed that recovery from flu left mice particularly vulnerable to pneumonia-causing bacteria.

Findings of the study have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Bacteria normally trigger immune cell receptors in the lung that spur recruitment of similar cells into the organ to help destroy these bugs.

However in post-flu mice, these receptors remained shut off for up to six months. Shutting them off may be the lung’s way of protecting itself from too much inflammation.

If so, other inflammation inducers like allergens might also cause long-term immune suppression in the lungs.

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