Dec. 1, 2020

Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have described findings leading to so-called “superinfections”. It can also contribute to research on Covid-19.


  • Influenza is caused by a virus, but the most common cause of death is secondary bacterial pneumonia rather than the influenza virus per se.

  • Pneumococcal infections are the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia and a leading global cause of death.

  • A prior influenza virus infection sensitizes for pneumococcal infections, but mechanisms behind this increase susceptibility are not fully understood.

  • Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now identified influenza-induced changes in the lower airways that affect the growth of pneumococci in the lungs.