A study published in the January issue of Critical Care Medicine reveals a certain type of immunosuppression which occurs in children who die of influenza. The study, which was conducted by researchers in 15 different pediatric hospitals, measured blood levels of a specific cytokine, tumor necrosis factor. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is part of the innate immune system, the part of the immune system which responds to new threats. Children with critically ill influenza had significantly lower amounts of TNF.
The results of this study may help to guide future treatments for influenza and discourage the use of medications such as steroids which actually can suppress immune function. For more information you can read about this study at Newswise.
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