COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease caused by a strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV2. While around two per cent of people who get the flu in a typical season have severe or life-threatening complications requiring hospitalisation, around 10 per cent of COVID-19 cases result in life-threatening complications.

COVID-19 is set to be the third-leading cause of death in Australia in the first seven months of 2022, after ischaemic heart disease and dementia, and ahead of cerebrovascular disease and lung cancer.

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COVID-19 has highlighted how damaging out-of-control inflammation can be. Patients with severe COVID-19 develop out-of-control inflammation as their bodies try to fight the virus. This triggers a severe hyper-inflammatory response leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and organ failure. Restricting this inflammatory response could help save lives.

Hudson Institute researchers are using their world-leading inflammation expertise to understand how this response happens and develop treatments to mitigate the deadly inflammation caused by COVID-19.

“There is still so much we don’t know about the dangerous and damaging inflammation that leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease and more,” Prof Hartland says.

“Hudson Institute already has 150 expert scientists and clinicians working on inflammation – the largest concentration of inflammation researchers in Australia.”

Professor Elizabeth Hartland, CEO, discusses inflammation. LISTEN TO PODCAST HERE

Tackling acute inflammation in COVID-19 and pathogenic influenza virus

Dr Michelle Tate and A/Prof Ashley Mansell from Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at Hudson Institute

By identifying the molecular mechanisms behind viral lung inflammation and how COVID-19 results in severe lung inflammation, the team will develop and test new and repurposed anti-inflammatory treatments for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with severe COVID-19 and influenza virus infections.

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COVID-19 collaborators

Support for people with COVID-19

Hudson Institute scientists cannot provide medical advice.
Find out more about COVID-19.

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