Infant susceptibility to flu explained in local study
2012/05/10 15:26:03

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) A study conducted by Taiwanese researchers suggests that the reason newborns are more susceptible than adults to influenza is because their natural killer (NK) cells, a component of the innate immune system, are easily compromised by flu viruses.

"We found that infants' NK cells -- the body's natural weapon against flu -- are very vulnerable to flu virus," said Lin Syh-jae, a doctor at Chang Gung Children's Hospital and the leader of the research team, at a press conference Thursday.

"Not only do infants' NK cells die out faster than adult ones, their functions become compromised through the process of infection," he said, adding that NK cells perform equally well in newborns and adults prior to any flu infection...