Respiratory virosis and invasive bacterial superinfections - The case for influenza and meningococcal diseases

Unité des Neisseria, département de médecine moléculaire, Institut Pasteur, centre national de référence des méningocoques, 25-28, rue du Docteur-Roux, 75724 cedex 15 Paris, France.
Archives de Pédiatrie (Impact Factor: 0.41). 12/2003; 10(11):1013-5. DOI: 10.1016/S0929-693X(03)00491-3
Source: PubMed


The pathophysiology of bacterial superinfections of influenza, including meningococcal diseases, remains obscure. Mice, normally resistant to the meningococcus, become susceptible after previous influenza A virus infection. This immunosuppressive effect is transitory and is associated with the peak of the inflammatory anti-virus reaction. These results underline the importance of preventing bacterial superinfections of influenza by the surveillance of any relapse of fever after improvement of the influenza syndrome. At the community level, influenza vaccine, beside its specific effects, might also prevent many cases of invasive superinfections, including meningococcal diseases.

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