Two medications used to treat asthma and allergies may help prevent a particularly dangerous form of pneumonia caused by influenza A virus (IAV) infection, according to a study published online recently in PLOS Pathogens.

Researchers reported that early administration of Singulair or Accolate may block viral infection in type-1 alveolar epithelial cells.

In an effort to examine the contribution of alveolar macrophages in regulating the severity of IAV infection, researchers employed a murine model in which the Core Binding Factor Beta gene is conditionally disrupted in myeloid cells.

The researchers found that these mice exhibit a selective deficiency in alveolar macrophages; the deficient mice developed severe diffuse alveolar damage, lethal respiratory compromise, and consequent lethality following IAV infection. In these mice, lethal injury resulted from increased infection of type-1 alveolar epithelial cells (T1AECs) and the elimination of infected T1AEC by the adaptive immune T-cell response.