The innate immune system in the respiratory tract
Introduction of infectious disease agents such as influenza A virus into the respiratory tract and pulmonary system results in the enlistment of immune cells, including neutrophils and macrophages, resulting in elevation of inflammatory and Th1 cytokines including IFN-γ and TNF-α. This immune activity is associated with broad spectrum, and antigen-independent, protection against subsequent challenge with mild and virulent influenza viruses. We are currently determining the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon with a view to finding methods of reducing transmission of influenza at a population level.
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