What's Lurking in Your Nose That Could Up Your Flu Risk?


Certain bacteria in the respiratory system — specifically in the nose and throat — could impact your susceptibility to the flu, according to a study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and published in PLOS One.

Influenza viruses target cells that line the respiratory tract, which are surrounded by complex bacterial communities called microbiomes. According to the Michigan researchers, these microbiomes may interact with flu viruses and play a role in the body’s defense against infection.

Their study involved 144 households in Nicaragua where there was a confirmed diagnosis of influenza. The researchers monitored household members for up to two weeks, sampling their respiratory microbiomes and testing for the flu. Then, they compared the likelihood of influenza infection in five microbiome types, finding an increased susceptibility in one specific type.

Sourced from: PLOS One