Human Infant Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)--Specific Type 1 and 2 Cytokine Responses Ex Vivo during Primary RSV Infection

Lee, F. Eun-Hyung; Walsh, Edward E.; Falsey, Ann R.; Lumb, Megan E.; Okam, Ngozi V.; Nathaniel Liu; Divekar, Anagha A.; Hall, Caroline B.; Mosmann, Tim R.
June 2007
Journal of Infectious Diseases;6/15/2007, Vol. 195 Issue 12, p1779
Academic Journal
Background. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the most common respiratory viral infection resulting in hospitalizations in infants worldwide. Illness severity is likely multifactorial; however, unlike other viral infections, both type 1 and type 2 cytokine responses have been implicated in severe disease. Methods. We measured RSV-specific cytokine responses ex vivo during primary RSV infection in the blood of 18 infants with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed RSV infection. To focus on primary RSV infection, subjects were all < 9 months old. RSV-specific cytokine responses were measured at 3 time points during acute primary RSV infection and at 1 memory time point 3-6 months later. Results. RSV-specific interferon (IFN)-γ responses were detected in 10 of 18 of infants. Infants with mild disease had higher RSV-specific IFN-γ memory responses than did those with moderate or severe disease. No consistent correlations between RSV-specific IFN-γ responses and corticosteroid administration were observed. RSV-specific interleukin (IL)-4 or IL-5 responses to primary RSV infection were detectable in 5 of 18 and 8 of 15 infants, respectively. Conclusions. During primary RSV infection, many infants demonstrated RSV-specific IFN-γ responses. The strongest IL-4 and IL-5 responses were detected in 3 infants with severe disease, suggesting that type 2 responses may contribute to the pathogenesis of severe disease.


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