Modern Immunological Approaches to Treatment of Influenza and Acute Respiratory Viral Infections

Modern Immunological Approaches to Treatment of Influenza and Acute Respiratory Viral Infections


In March 2018, the 7th Research-to-Practice Conference “Health of the Immune System.Immunotropic Infection” was held with the support of Valenta Pharm in Moscow. The conference participants included 300 medical specialists in various fields – allergists/immunologists, oncologists, haematologists, rheumatologists, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists, gastroenterologists, paediatricians, physicians, general practitioners, and clinical pathologists—and 160 online participants followed the discussion. A wide range of issues concerning the work of the human immune system was discussed, including current matters of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) and influenza.

Irina Stepanova, Candidate of Medical Science, Assistant Professor of the Family Medicine Department with a course of clinical pathology at Central State Medical Academyat the Department of Presidential Affairsof the Russian Federation, said in her speech that influenza, an acute viral infection with theairborne pathogen transmission, is one of the most pressing concerns that the today’s health care system is facing. Annually, different influenza strains cause epidemics and pandemics if fundamentally new virus varieties appear. Every year, 10-18% of the population get infected with influenza viruses, of which 5-10 % is taken ill. Herewith, 3-5 million people suffer a severe form of influenza, and about 700,000 die of influenza and its complications1.

Scientists are continually looking for effective containment methods for influenza epidemics and pandemics. The existing anti-influenza strategy, which is based on antiviral drugs, is necessary and justified, and it allows containing the virus spreading as early as possible, reinforcing the tissue regeneration, and mitigating the risk ofsecondary bacterial infection. That is why the antiviral therapy must be started as soon as the very first signs of a respiratory disease appear.

“Early administration of antiviral drugs makes it possible to contain the virus spreading and to reduce the risk ofsecondary bacterial infection. At the same time, when prescribing a therapy to a patient, the doctor must not forget that antiviral drugs are different in their mechanism of action” – says Irina Stepanova. She also noted, “To confront a virus successfully, a cell must recognize a ‘threat’ in the first place. As soon as the virus enters the body, cells start synthesizing protection factors. When exposed to viruses, this protection grows weaker. However, some medicinal drugs enabling a cell to recognize a pathogen and to ensure an adequate antiviral response have been created. Particularly, a drug Ingavirin® has such a mechanism of action.”

Irina Iraklievna informed that nine clinical tests involving over 2 thousand patients2 proved that administration of the Ingavirin® antiviral drug reduces the duration of the fever and intoxication symptoms as well as that of catarrhal symptoms. The antiviral effect of the drug is confirmed by a decreased viral load, reduced periods of virus elimination, and a decreased risk of complications. Inclusion of Ingavirin® in the comprehensive antibacterial therapy of complications from acute respiratory viral diseases (tonsillitis) allows achieving a better clinical effect as compared with monotherapy because the drug potentiates an antimicrobial action of antibiotics and has an additional pathogenic anti-inflammatory effect. The clinical performance of Ingavirin® was also demonstrated in treatment of ARVI patients with the non-influenza etiology.

While studying the drug’s mechanism of action, it was proven that Ingavirin® increases the sensitivity of cells to an interferon signal and external signals (that are suppressed under action of viruses) due to an increase in synthesis of cell receptors and their sensitivity, which transfers a cell into the antiviral status (i.e., prevents virus infection of the cell) and affects production of antiviral protection factors, MxA and PKR proteins in the infected cell, suppressing the viral replication process. In other words, the drug compensates the pathogen’s immunosuppressive effect on the system of interferon-dependent genes and proteins of the cell while changing the immunological response to the viral invasion. The unique mechanism of action of Ingavirin® allows fighting against respiratory viruses of any etiology and ensures high clinical performance and safety as well as good tolerability.

  • 1 R.Webster, A.Monto, 2013; Hayward A., 2014; Donaldson L.S., 2009.
  • 2 For more details on the studies, please visit the web-site