Discoveries made during the 1918 influenza A pandemic and reports of severe disease associated with coinfection during the 2009 hemagglutinin type 1 and neuraminidase type 1 (commonly known as H1N1 or swine flu) pandemic have renewed interest in the role of coinfection in disease pathogenesis. The authors assessed how various timings of coinfection with influenza virus and pneumonia-causing bacteria could affect the severity of illness at multiple levels of interaction, including the biologic and population levels. Animal studies most strongly support a single pathway of coinfection with influenza inoculation occurring approximately 7 days before inoculation with Streptococcus pneumoniae, but less-examined pathways of infection also may be important for human disease. The authors discussed the implications of each pathway for disease prevention and what they would expect to see at the population level if there were sufficient data available. Lastly, the authors identified crucial gaps in the study of timing of coinfection and proposed related research questions.
- community-acquired infections
- influenza, human
- pneumococcal infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas