Author(s): Darwish I, Mubareka S, Liles WC
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Abstract Influenza A virus is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Severe influenza is recognized as a clinical syndrome, characterized by hyperinduction of proinflammatory cytokine production, otherwise known as hypercytokinemia or a 'cytokine storm'. Research focused on therapeutics to modulate influenza virus-induced inflammation is currently underway. In this review, we discuss the limitations of current antiviral drug treatment strategies, describe the influenza viral and host pathogenicity determinants, and present the evidence supporting the use of immunomodulatory therapy to target the host inflammatory response as a means to improve clinical outcome in severe influenza. We then review the experimental data on investigational immunomodulatory agents targeting the host inflammatory response in severe influenza, including anti-TNF therapy, statins, glucocorticoids, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, macrolides, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists, AMP-activated protein kinase agonists and high mobility group box 1 antagonists. We then conclude with a rationale for the use of mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells and angiopoietin-1 therapy against deleterious influenza-induced host responses that mediate end-organ injury and dysfunction.
This article was published in Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology