Electronic Cigarettes May Increase Susceptibility To Respiratory Infections

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Electronic Cigarettes May Increase Susceptibility To Respiratory Infections
Electronic Cigarettes May Increase Susceptibility To Respiratory Infections

Video: Electronic Cigarettes May Increase Susceptibility To Respiratory Infections

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Electronic cigarettes may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections

It has been known for a long time that smoking is a factor that increases the severity of influenza. Scientists now report that the use of e-cigarettes leads to similar problems: vaping reduces the body's ability to resist the flu virus.

Electronic cigarettes may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections
Electronic cigarettes may increase susceptibility to respiratory infections

Photo: pixabay.com /

It has been known for a long time that smoking is a factor that increases the severity of influenza. Scientists now report that the use of e-cigarettes leads to similar problems: vaping reduces the body's ability to resist the flu virus. The new research paper has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, but is due to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.

Scientists and the University of North Carolina conducted a preliminary study, which involved three groups of healthy volunteers (total 47 people): nonsmokers, smokers and e-cigarette users. Each participant received an attenuated culture of the influenza virus: the same culture used for the nasal influenza vaccine. In this form, the virus cannot cause illness, but the immune system responds like any other influenza virus.

Before and after the influenza virus was administered, the study participants took swabs from their throat and nose, as well as blood tests.

As expected, smokers' immune systems were weaker than non-smokers. Smokers showed a higher level of virus RNA. While e-cigarette users have not seen such changes, they have shown other signs of weakening their defenses against the virus.

In e-cigarette users, the genes and proteins involved in innate immunity - the first line of defense against viruses - have been suppressed. Another response to the introduction of the influenza virus, the production of immunoglobulins A, was also weakened. The authors suggested that such changes could negatively affect long-term protection against viruses (production of memory antibodies that the virus will recognize in the future).

“Any deregulation of our immune system's response to pathogens has the potential to increase susceptibility to viral infections and even reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. So our study focused on influenza, but it could be any respiratory infection that occurs at any time of the year,”study author Meghan Rebuli told the study to Gizmodo.

Several studies have previously pointed out a link between e-cigarette use and impairment.

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