Eosinophils and their Interactions with Respiratory Virus Pathogens
Helene F. Rosenberg1,3, Kimberly D. Dyer1, and Joseph B. Domachowske2
1 Eosinophil Biology Section, Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 2 Department of Pediatrics,
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York
Eosinophils are implicated in the pathophysiology of respiratory virus infection, most typically in negative roles, such as promoting wheezing and bronchoconstriction in conjunction with virusinduced exacerbations of reactive airways disease and in association with aberrant hypersensitivity responses to antiviral vaccines. However, experiments carried out in vitro and in vivo suggest positive roles for eosinophils, as they have been shown to reduce virus infectivity in tissue culture and promote clearance of the human pathogen, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in a mouse challenge model. The related natural rodent pathogen, pneumonia virus of mice (PVM) is highly virulent in mice, and is not readily cleared by eosinophils in vivo. Interestingly, PVM replicates in eosinophils and promotes cytokine release. The molecular basis of virus infection in eosinophils and its relationship to disease outcome is currently under study.