A team of scientists from the Vall d'Hebron Institute for Research in Barcelona has found that a failure in the activation of immune response genes of swine flu patients caused them to enter a critical state. The research suggests that when this gene does not work properly, the patient is more likely to develop respiratory difficulties or lung diseases such as pneumonia. The scientists analysed the immune response genes of patients who needed intensive treatment for severe pneumonia during the last outbreak of the disease.
Researchers discovered that in less severe cases, the genes which regulate the body\u2019s response to the swine flu were more active. By controlling these specific genes, medical staff would be more likely to control the effects of swine flu. Right now the team is checking which treatments could avoid the complications of the disease. Head of the Intensive Care Unit at Vall d'Hebron Hospital and director of research, Jordi Rello, said that these findings help to understand why healthy people developed severe pneumonias so easily when they caught the swine flu. The study is the result of collaboration between hospitals from Spain and Canada and has been published in the journal 'Critical Care'.