• Respiratory Influenza A Virus Infection Triggers Local and Systemic Natural Killer Cell Activation Toll-Like Receptor 7.

      Stegemann-Koniszewski, Sabine; Behrens, Sarah; Boehme, Julia D; Hochnadel, Inga; Riese, Peggy; Guzmán, Carlos A; Kröger, Andrea; Schreiber, Jens; Gunzer, Matthias; Bruder, Dunja; et al. (Frontiers, 2018-02-13)
      The innate immune system senses influenza A virus (IAV) through different pathogen-recognition receptors including Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7). Downstream of viral recognition natural killer (NK) cells are activated as part of the anti-IAV immune response. Despite the known decisive role of TLR7 for NK cell activation by therapeutic immunostimulatory RNAs, the contribution of TLR7 to the NK cell response following IAV infection has not been addressed. We have analyzed lung cytokine responses as well as the activation, interferon (IFN)-γ production, and cytotoxicity of lung and splenic NK cells following sublethal respiratory IAV infection in wild-type and TLR7ko mice. Early airway IFN-γ levels as well as the induction of lung NK cell CD69 expression and IFN-γ production in response to IAV infection were significantly attenuated in TLR7-deficient hosts. Strikingly, respiratory IAV infection also primed splenic NK cells for IFN-γ production, degranulation, and target cell lysis, all of which were fully dependent on TLR7. At the same time, lung type I IFN levels were significantly reduced in TLR7ko mice early following IAV infection, displaying a potential upstream mechanism of the attenuated NK cell activation observed. Taken together, our data clearly demonstrate a specific role for TLR7 signaling in local and systemic NK cell activation following respiratory IAV infection despite the presence of redundant innate IAV-recognition pathways.
    • Symptom Burden and Factors Associated with Acute Respiratory Infections in the First Two Years of Life-Results from the LoewenKIDS Cohort.

      Langer, Susan; Horn, Johannes; Gottschick, Cornelia; Klee, Bianca; Purschke, Oliver; Caputo, Mahrrouz; Dorendorf, Evelyn; Meyer-Schlinkmann, Kristin Maria; Raupach-Rosin, Heike; Karch, André; et al. (MDPI, 2022-01-05)
      Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are the most common childhood illnesses worldwide whereby the reported frequency varies widely, often depending on type of assessment. Symptom diaries are a powerful tool to counteract possible under-reporting, particularly of milder infections, and thus offer the possibility to assess the full burden of ARIs. The following analyses are based on symptom diaries from participants of the German birth cohort study LoewenKIDS. Primary analyses included frequencies of ARIs and specific symptoms. Factors, which might be associated with an increased number of ARIs, were identified using the Poisson regression. A subsample of two hundred eighty-eight participants were included. On average, 13.7 ARIs (SD: 5.2 median: 14.0 IQR: 10-17) were reported in the first two years of life with an average duration of 11 days per episode (SD: 5.8, median: 9.7, IQR: 7-14). The median age for the first ARI episode was 91 days (IQR: 57-128, mean: 107, SD: 84.5). Childcare attendance and having siblings were associated with an increased frequency of ARIs, while exclusive breastfeeding for the first three months was associated with less ARIs, compared to exclusive breastfeeding for a longer period. This study provides detailed insight into the symptom burden of ARIs in German infants.