Inflammation Research

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 283–302 | Cite as

The inflammatory response triggered by Influenza virus: a two edged sword

  • Luciana P. Tavares
  • Mauro M. Teixeira
  • Cristiana C. Garcia


Influenza A virus (IAV) is a relevant respiratory tract pathogen leading to a great number of deaths and hospitalizations worldwide. Secondary bacterial infections are a very common cause of IAV associated morbidity and mortality. The robust inflammatory response that follows infection is important for the control of virus proliferation but is also associated with lung damage, morbidity and death. The role of the different components of immune response underlying protection or disease during IAV infection is not completely elucidated. Overall, in the context of IAV infection, inflammation is a ‘double edge sword’ necessary to control infection but causing disease. Therefore, a growing number of studies suggest that immunomodulatory strategies may improve disease outcome without affecting the ability of the host to deal with infection. This review summarizes recent aspects of the inflammatory responses triggered by IAV that are preferentially involved in causing severe pulmonary disease and the anti-inflammatory strategies that have been suggested to treat influenza induced immunopathology.


Inflammation Influenza Immunopathology Secondary infection 



We are grateful to Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisas do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG, Brazil), Conselho Nacional do Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil), The Institute of Science and Technology in Dengue (INCT in Dengue, CNPq/Brazil) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciana P. Tavares
    • 1
  • Mauro M. Teixeira
    • 1
  • Cristiana C. Garcia
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratório de Imunofarmacologia, Departamento de Bioquímica e ImunologiaICB Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Vírus Respiratórios e do SarampoInstituto Oswaldo Cruz, FiocruzRio de JaneiroBrazil

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