Influenza virus (IFV) is a major respiratory pathogen of global importance, and the cause of a high degree of morbidity and mortality, especially in high-risk populations such as infants, elderly, and immunocompromised hosts. Given its high capacity to change antigenically, acquired immunity is often not effective to limit IFV infection and therefore vaccination must be constantly redesigned to achieve effective protection. Improvement of respiratory and systemic innate immune mechanisms has been proposed to reduce the incidence and severity of IFV disease. In the last decade, several research works have demonstrated that microbes with the capacity to modulate the mucosal immune system (immunobiotics) are a potential alternative to beneficially modulate the outcome of IFV infection. This review provides an update of the current status on the modulation of respiratory immunity by orally and nasally administered immunobiotics, and their beneficial impact on IFV clearance and inflammatory-mediated lung tissue damage. In particular, we describe the research of our group that investigated the influence of immunobiotics on inflammation-coagulation interactions during IFV infection. Studies have clearly demonstrated that hostile inflammation is accompanied by dysfunctional coagulation in respiratory IFV disease, and our investigations have proved that some immunobiotic strains are able to reduce viral disease severity through their capacity to modulate the immune-coagulative responses in the respiratory tract.
- Influenza virus
- Respiratory immunity