Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, causing them to damage the patients’ lungs instead of destroying the bacterium. The study, which will be published online August 15 ahead of issue in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that inhibiting this response may help treat patients infected with both the flu virus and MRSA.
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