Editors' ChoiceImmunology

A genetic cause for severe influenza

Sci. Signal.  28 Apr 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 374, pp. ec113
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aab4163

Although chicken soup and plenty of rest get most kids through an influenza virus infection, some require hospitalization. Ciancanelli et al. report on one child who suffered severely from influenza because of null mutations in the gene for transcription factor IRF7. Cells isolated from this patient could not make enough secreted antiviral proteins, called interferons, to halt viral replication. The requirement for IRF7 seems specific to influenza, because this patient recovers normally from other common childhood viral infections.

M. J. Ciancanelli, S. X. L. Huang, P. Luthra, H. Garner, Y. Itan, S. Volpi, F. G. Lafaille, C. Trouillet, M. Schmolke, R. A. Albrecht, E. Israelsson, H. K. Lim, M. Casadio, T. Hermesh, L. Lorenzo, L. W. Leung, V. Pedergnana, B. Boisson, S. Okada, C. Picard, B. Ringuier, F. Troussier, D. Chaussabel, L. Abel, I. Pellier, L. D. Notarangelo, A. García-Sastre, C. F. Basler, F. Geissmann, S.-Y. Zhang, H.-W. Snoeck, J.-L. Casanova, Life-threatening influenza and impaired interferon amplification in human IRF7 deficiency. Science 348, 448–453 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]