High blood glucose levels may explain why some flu patients experience severe symptoms

April 15, 2020

Influenza A (a highly contagious virus that causes annual flu epidemics worldwide) may trigger an inflammatory "cytokine storm" - an excessive immune response that can lead to hospitalization or even death - by increasing glucose metabolism, according to a new study. As the novel coronavirus pandemic grips the globe, Qiming Wang and colleagues have separately, and fully apart from this study, begun investigating how glucose metabolism may affect patients with COVID-19. "We believe that glucose metabolism contributes to various COVID-19 outcomes since both influenza and COVID-19 can induce a cytokine storm, and since COVID-19 patients with diabetes have shown higher mortality," says Shi Liu, a researcher on the study. In general, the mechanisms that promote cytokine storms, causing some individuals to suffer more from influenza A (and, perhaps more from COVID-19) than others remain mysterious. Although glucose metabolism and inflammatory cytokine signal networks are known to have evolved together, it has not been clear whether they interact during flu infection. To learn whether glucose metabolism is related to the off-the-wall immune response brought on by influenza A, Wang et al. examined blood glucose levels and cytokine production in mice with the flu, finding that those treated with glucosamine produced significantly higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines than mice that did not receive glucosamine. Additionally, the researchers analyzed glucose levels in blood samples from patients diagnosed with influenza A and healthy patients, which were collected from volunteers during physical examinations at two Wuhan University hospitals between 2017 and 2019. They determined that the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway, which metabolizes a small portion of glucose, plays an essential role in cytokine storms triggered by the flu virus.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Influenza Articles from Brightsurf:

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data.

Common cold combats influenza
As the flu season approaches, a strained public health system may have a surprising ally -- the common cold virus.

Scent-sensing cells have a better way to fight influenza
Smell receptors that line the nose get hit by Influenza B just like other cells, but they are able to clear the infection without dying.

New antivirals for influenza and Zika
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus.

Assessment of deaths from COVID-19, seasonal influenza
Publicly available data were used to analyze the number of deaths from seasonal influenza deaths compared with deaths from COVID-19.

Obesity promotes virulence of influenza
Obesity promotes the virulence of the influenza virus, according to a study conducted in mice published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Influenza: combating bacterial superinfection with the help of the microbiota
Frenc researchers and from Brazilian (Belo Horizonte), Scottish (Glasgow) and Danish (Copenhagen) laboratories have shown for the first time in mice that perturbation of the gut microbiota caused by the influenza virus favours secondary bacterial superinfection.

Chemists unveil the structure of an influenza B protein
MIT chemists have discovered the structure of an influenza B protein called BM2, a finding that could help researchers design drugs that block the protein and help prevent the virus from spreading.

How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.

Eating elderberries can help minimize influenza symptoms
Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr. Golnoosh Torabian and Dr.

Read More: Influenza News and Influenza Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.