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December 4, 2018

Airway Cells Make Trade-off When Fighting the Cold Virus

JAMA. 2018;320(21):2192. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12867

Non–influenza-related respiratory virus infections cause an estimated 500 million colds per year in the United States. However, recent research suggests that disease-causing viruses enter individuals’ nasal passages much more frequently than they cause illness. In many cases, airway antiviral defense responses effectively clear local virus before it causes noticeable symptoms. Now, researchers have uncovered a novel mechanism involving 2 antagonistic host-defense responses that may help explain why some people exposed to rhinovirus become ill while others do not.