Redox Biology of Respiratory Viral Infections

Viruses. 2018 Jul 26;10(8):392. doi: 10.3390/v10080392.


Respiratory viruses cause infections of the upper or lower respiratory tract and they are responsible for the common cold-the most prevalent disease in the world. In many cases the common cold results in severe illness due to complications, such as fever or pneumonia. Children, old people, and immunosuppressed patients are at the highest risk and require fast diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. However, the availability and efficiencies of existing therapeutic approaches vary depending on the virus. Investigation of the pathologies that are associated with infection by respiratory viruses will be paramount for diagnosis, treatment modalities, and the development of new therapies. Changes in redox homeostasis in infected cells are one of the key events that is linked to infection with respiratory viruses and linked to inflammation and subsequent tissue damage. Our review summarizes current knowledge on changes to redox homeostasis, as induced by the different respiratory viruses.

Keywords: Nrf2; inflammation; influenza virus; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; respiratory syncytial virus; rhinovirus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Mice
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / immunology
  • Orthomyxoviridae / physiology
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / virology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / physiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology*
  • Rhinovirus / physiology*


  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • NFE2L2 protein, human
  • Reactive Oxygen Species