The role of microRNAs in modulating innate immune responses during virus infections is a Research Project for the Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling Research Group, under the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases.
Influenza viruses are associated with acute respiratory illness and are responsible for millions of human deaths annually. The innate immune system provides a critical first line of defense following influenza virus infection, however, excessive inflammation is associated with severe influenza virus infections of both mice and humans.
Understanding how the innate immune system responds to influenza virus is of great importance and may provide insight as to why particular influenza virus strains induce severe disease. Host microRNAs have been shown to modulate innate immune responses. This project aims to examine the regulation of novel microRNAs in the lung following influenza virus infection and their role in controlling innate immune responses. Understanding how microRNAs modulate inappropriate or damaging immune responses is of great significance for reducing mortality and morbidity associated with influenza.