Exacerbation of influenza infection by low doses of geogenic dust
Clifford, HD and Perks, K and Larcombe, AN and Zosky, GR, Exacerbation of influenza infection by low doses of geogenic dust, Respirology, 23-27 March, 2013, Darwin, Australia, pp. 21. ISSN 1323-7799 (2013) [Conference Extract]
Aim: To determine the effects of geogenic (earth-derived) PM10 (particulate
matter <10 μm diameter) on pulmonary infl ammation and lung mechanics, and
how this contributes to the exacerbation of a respiratory viral infection.
Methods: Geogenic dust was directly sampled from the community of
Karratha in the north of Western Australia, and the PM10 fraction was extracted.
Adult female BALB/c mice were exposed to low doses of PM10 (10 μg per day
for 10 days) by intranasal instillation (in 50 μL of saline + 0.05% Tween-80),
while control mice received vehicle alone. Mice were infected with infl uenza
(A/Mem/1/71) virus (or control VP-SFM media alone) at day 6, with lung function
measured on day 11. Lung volume and mechanics were measured using
plethysmography and a modifi cation of the forced oscillation technique (FOT).
Mice were euthanased and bronchoalveolar lavage fl uid was collected for
assessment of infl ammation (total and differential cell counts).
Results: Infl uenza infection induced an infl ammatory response in the lung
(infl ux of total infl ammatory cells p < 0.001; neutrophils p < 0.001). Geogenic
PM10 from Karratha produced an additive effect on the infl ammatory response
to infl uenza, with mice exposed to both having signifi cantly higher neutrophilia
compared to those exposed to either insult alone (p = 0.003). Particle exposure
signifi cantly impaired lung mechanics, with an increase in airway resistance
(Raw, p < 0.001). Furthermore, exposure to PM10 synergistically impaired lung
function during infl uenza infection (Raw, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Geogenic dust particles impair lung function and exacerbate
the response to respiratory viral infection. This has important implications for
respiratory health in communities exposed to high particulate loads of geogenic
origin, such as those in the remote, arid regions of Australia.