First off what are tuft cells... Here is a good description. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ts-are-figuring-out-what-body-s-tuft-cells-do H1N1 influenza virus infection induces dramatic and permanent alveolar remodeling mediated by p63+ progenitor cell expansion in both mice and some patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. This persistent lung epithelial dysplasia is accompanied by chronic inflammation, but the driver(s) of this pathology are unknown. This work identified de novo appearance of solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs), as defined by the tuft cell marker doublecortin-like kinase 1, in post-influenza lungs, arising in close proximity with the dysplastic epithelium, whereas uninjured lungs are devoid of SCCs. Interestingly, fate mapping demonstrated that these cells are derived from p63-expressing lineage-negative progenitors, the same cell of origin as the dysplastic epithelium. Direct activation of SCCs with denatonium + succinate increased plasma extravasation specifically in post-influenza virus-injured lungs. Thus we demonstrate the previously unrecognized development and activity of SCCs in the lung following influenza virus infection, implicating SCCs as a central feature of dysplastic remodeling. So here is why I think this might be important (again, I could be connecting dots that shouldn't be connected). This paper shows that tuft cells can be in effect created by a virus attacking an organism. In this case they are now looking to see in this specific case if these tuft cells in turn can cause asthma. H1N1 isn't the only virus that makes use of tuft cells. https://www.biocompare.com/Life-Science-News/348992-Sneaky-Norovirus-Infects-Hidden-Tuft-Cells/ During the last year they have found tuft cells elsewhere. Specifically in the thymus. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2018/07/411146/guts-taste-buds-help-school-immune-system-thymus The tuft cells in the thymus regulate autoimmunity. There are other papers about their potential impact on the immune system. So I wonder if the initial viral illness couldn't be messing in some way with the tuft cells in the thymus which in turn causes the various immune factors people are seeing down the road? I have looked around and I can't see any papers where anyone has looked at this.