Comparative study of the cytokine/chemokine response in children with differing disease severity in enterovirus 71-induced hand, foot, and mouth disease

Yan Zhang, Haiying Liu, Linghang Wang, Fan Yang, Yongfeng Hu, Xianwen Ren, Guojun Li, Yu Yang, Yang Yu, Shaoxia Sun, Yufen Li, Xinchun Chen, Xingwang Li, Qi Jin
PloS One 2013, 8 (6): e67430

BACKGROUND: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection can lead to a rapidly progressing, life-threatening, and severe neurological disease in young children, including the development of human hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). This study aims to further characterize the specific immunological features in EV71-mediated HFMD patients presenting with differing degrees of disease severity.

METHODOLOGY: Comprehensive cytokine and chemokine expression were broadly evaluated by cytokine antibody array in EV71-infected patients hospitalized for HFMD compared to Coxsackievirus A16-infected patients and age-matched healthy controls. More detailed analysis using Luminex-based cytokine bead array was performed in EV71-infected patients stratified into diverse clinic outcomes. Additionally, immune cell frequencies in peripheral blood and EV71-specific antibodies in plasma were also examined.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Expression of several cytokines and chemokines were significantly increased in plasma from EV71-infected patients compared to healthy controls, which further indicated that: (1) GM-CSF, MIP-1β, IL-2, IL-33, and IL-23 secretion was elevated in patients who rapidly developed disease and presented with uncomplicated neurological damage; (2) G-CSF and MCP-1 were distinguishably secreted in EV71 infected very severe patients presenting with acute respiratory failure; (3) IP-10, MCP-1, IL-6, IL-8, and G-CSF levels were much higher in cerebrospinal fluid than in plasma from patients with neurological damage; (4) FACS analysis revealed that the frequency of CD19(+)HLADR(+) mature B cells dynamically changed over time during the course of hospitalization and was accompanied by dramatically increased EV71-specific antibodies. Our data provide a panoramic view of specific immune mediator and cellular immune responses of HFMD and may provide useful immunological profiles for monitoring the progress of EV71-induced fatal neurological symptoms with acute respiratory failure.

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