Contact: Alan Gill
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
A protein called SOCS4 has been shown to act as a handbrake on the immune system's runaway reaction to flu infection, providing a possible means of minimising the impact of flu pandemics.
Scientists from Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have found that without SOCS4 the immune response to influenza infection is slowed and there is a vast increase in the number of damaging inflammatory molecules in the lungs. This flood of inflammatory molecules, known as a "cytokine storm," is thought to contribute to flu-related deaths in humans.
Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Usage Restrictions: Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Related news release: Ending the perfect storm: Protein key to beating flu pandemics