Regulating the adaptive immune response to respiratory virus infection

Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Mar 9;12(4):295-305. doi: 10.1038/nri3166.


Recent years have seen several advances in our understanding of immunity to virus infection of the lower respiratory tract, including to influenza virus infection. Here, we review the cellular targets of viruses and the features of the host immune response that are unique to the lungs. We describe the interplay between innate and adaptive immune cells in the induction, expression and control of antiviral immunity, and discuss the impact of the infected lung milieu on moulding the response of antiviral effector T cells. Recent findings on the mechanisms that underlie the increased frequency of severe pulmonary bacterial infections following respiratory virus infection are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology*
  • Superinfection / immunology
  • Superinfection / virology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology