Influenza makes people more susceptible to bacterial infections: Sweden’s Karolinska Institute
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health
Recently, researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute have come out with findings on superinfections.
They have highlighted that influenza makes people more susceptible to bacterial infections.
When an individual is infected by influenza different nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, leak from the blood.
The absence of nutrients and antioxidants creates a favourable environment for bacteria in the lungs.
The bacteria adapt to the inflammatory environment by increasing the production of an enzyme called High temperature requirement A (HtrA).
The presence of HtrA weakens the immune system and promotes bacterial growth in the influenza-infected airways.
The ability of pneumococcus to grow seems to depend on the nutrient-rich environment with its higher levels of antioxidants that occurs during a viral infection, as well as on the bacteria’s ability to adapt to the environment and protect itself from being eradicated by the immune system.
The results could be used to find new therapies for double infections between the influenza virus and pneumococcal bacteria.
The information can contribute to the research on Covid-19.
Important value addition
These are infection occurring after or on top of an earlier infection, especially following treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
It is an overgrowth of an opportunistic pathogen from the bacterial or yeast imbalance of systemic antibiotics.
For example, influenza is caused by a virus, but the most common cause of death in influenza patients is secondary pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria.
It is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system i.e. nose, throat and lungs.
It is commonly called the flu.
Symptoms: Fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue.
Flu is primarily treated with rest and fluid intake to allow the body to fight the infection
Young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at high risk.
It is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs.
The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus.
Cause: Variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Symptoms: Cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills and difficulty breathing.
The infection can be life-threatening to anyone, but particularly to infants, children and people over 65.
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