Influenza makes millions of people ill every year, placing a large burden on the healthcare system and the economy. To develop a treatment against influenza, we combined virucidal sialylated cyclodextrins with interferon lambda and demonstrated, in human airway epithelia, that the two compounds inhibit the replication of a clinical H1N1 strain more efficiently when administered together rather than alone. We investigated the mechanism of action of the combined treatment by single cell RNA-sequencing analysis and found that both the single and combined treatments impair viral replication to different extents across distinct epithelial cell types. We showed that each cell type comprises multiple sub-types, whose proportions are altered by H1N1 infection, and assessed the ability of the treatments to restore them. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study investigating the effectiveness of an antiviral therapy against influenza virus by single cell transcriptomic studies.
© 2022. The Author(s).