To determine if selenium deficiency intensifies an influenza infection, selenium-deficient mice were infected with a mild strain of the influenza virus. The results showed that selenium-deficient mice developed much more severe lung tissue inflammations than mice without selenium deficiency. The researchers concluded that an adequate intake of antioxidants, like selenium, is essential for a well-functioning defense system to protect against viral infections. More details can be found in the study.
Beck et al.