The pandemic strain of the influenza A virus (pH1N1) in 2009 caused many complications in patients. In this study, we introduce asthmatic symptoms as a complication of pH1N1 infection in children, not having a relationship with asthma history. The aim of this study was to quantify asthmatic symptoms in pH1N1-infected children and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) induced in a murine model of pH1N1 infection.Methods:
As a retrospective study, pH1N1-infected children who were hospitalized with moderate to severe acute asthmatic symptoms were enrolled and administered a methacholine challenge test (MCT) at 3 months post-discharge. Additionally, the induction of AHR by pH1N1 infection was measured by MCT in wild-type and Rag1−/− mice. The effect of the innate immune response on the development of AHR following pH1N1 infection was investigated.Results:
More than 70% of the pH1N1-infected children without a pre-infection diagnosis of asthma had a negative response on the MCT. None of these children had recurrent wheezing or asthma during the 3 years following pH1N1 infection. The development of AHR in pH1N1-infected mice was associated with an elevation in IL-33 and innate lymphoid cells 2 (ILC2).Conclusions:
This study demonstrates that pH1N1 infection directly induces transient asthmatic symptoms in patients regardless of their medical history. pH1N1 infection was shown to stimulate the rapid development of AHR and Th2-type cytokine secretion in mice via the activation of ILC2; it may be activated independently of adaptive immunity.