The influenza viruses are some of the most important human pathogens, causing substantial seasonal and pandemic morbidity and mortality. In humans, infection of the lower respiratory tract of can result in flooding of the alveolar compartment, development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and death from respiratory failure. Influenza-mediated damage of the airway, alveolar epithelium and alveolar endothelium results from a combination of: 1) intrinsic viral pathogenicity, attributable to its tropism for host airway and alveolar epithelial cells; and 2) a robust host innate immune response, which, while contributing to viral clearance, can worsen the severity of lung injury. In this review, we summarise the molecular events at the virus-host interface during influenza virus infection, highlighting some of the important cellular responses. We discuss immune-mediated viral clearance, the mechanisms promoting or perpetuating lung injury, lung regeneration after influenza-induced injury, and recent advances in influenza prevention and therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine