Researchers discover carbon nanotubes increase lung cell susceptibility to influenza viral infection

virus and nano

Drs. Sabo-Attwood, Lednicky and colleagues recently published an article in Particle & Fibre Toxicology showing that if lung cells are pre-exposed to carbon nanotubes, they are more susceptible to infection with influenza A virus H1N1 (A/Mexico/4108/2009). Their work is timely as nanoparticles, entities in the 1-100 nm size range, are currently unregulated while being widely utilized in numerous industrial and consumer products.  Since the nanotubes share a superficial resemblance to fibers such as asbestos the research community is concerned about potential health effects as a result of inhalation exposure. Their work further shows that the nanotubes are able to impair typical anti-viral defense systems, highlighting novel mechanisms of sub-lethal toxicity.

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