The clinical outcome of different influenza virus infections ranges from subclinical upper respiratory tract disease to fatal lower respiratory tract disease. An important determinant in the pathogenesis of these diseases is the tissue tropism of the influenza virus. Furthermore, virulence is often correlated with virus replication and is regulated by multiple virus genes. Host defense against virus infection consists of both innate and adaptive immune responses. However, excessive or dysbalanced immune response may result in lung tissue damage, reduced respiratory capacity, and severe disease or even death. By interdisciplinary efforts to better understand the intricate interaction between virus, tissue, and immune response, we may be able to find new ways to improve the outcome of influenza virus infections.

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Current Opinion in Virology
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kuiken, T, Riteau, B, Fouchier, R.A.M, & Rimmelzwaan, G.F. (2012). Pathogenesis of influenza virus infections: The good, the bad and the ugly. Current Opinion in Virology (Vol. 2, pp. 276–286). doi:10.1016/j.coviro.2012.02.013