Alteration of pulmonary immunity during bacterial and viral coinfections
The growing threat of pandemic influenza virus (IAV) and significant burden seasonal IAV infections has on the health of children and the elderly makes it increasingly important to determine the events regulating the immune response. Further coinfection with bacteria such as Streptococcus during IAV infections is known to greatly increase morbidity and mortality. Despite the increases severity and burden of coinfection on human health, the relative contribution of immune cells in both pathogen clearance and disease is understudied. Therefore the goals of this project are to determine how immune cells regulate mucosal immune responses and control the scope and outcome during respiratory infections and determine how coinfections alter such mucosal immunity. Our current objectives are to determine if coinfection alters pulmonary neutrophil, eosinophil, and alveolar macrophage levels and the contribution of these cells to both pathogen control and overall pathogenesis.