Interferon lambda 1-3 expression in infants hospitalized for RSV or HRV associated bronchiolitis

Carla Selvaggi, Alessandra Pierangeli, Marco Fabiani, Lucia Spano, Ambra Nicolai, Paola Papoff, Corrado Moretti, Fabio Midulla, Guido Antonelli, Carolina Scagnolari
Journal of Infection 2014, 68 (5): 467-77

OBJECTIVES: The airway expression of type III interferons (IFNs) was evaluated in infants hospitalized for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or rhinovirus (HRV) bronchiolitis. As an additional objective we sought to determine whether a different expression of IFN lambda 1-3 was associated with different harboring viruses, the clinical course of bronchiolitis or with the levels of well established IFN stimulated genes (ISGs), such as mixovirus resistance A (MxA) and ISG56.

METHODS: The analysis was undertaken in 118 infants with RSV or HRV bronchiolitis. Nasopharyngeal washes were collected for virological studies and molecular analysis of type III IFN responses.

RESULTS: RSV elicited higher levels of IFN lambda subtypes when compared with HRV. A similar expression of type III IFN was found in RSVA or RSVB infected infants and in those infected with HRVA or HRVC viruses. Results also indicate that IFN lambda 1 and IFN lambda 2-3 levels were correlated with each other and with MxA and ISG56-mRNAs. In addition, a positive correlation exists between the IFN lambda1 levels and the clinical score index during RSV infection. In particular, higher IFN lambda 1 levels are associated to an increase of respiratory rate.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that differences in the IFN lambda 1-3 levels in infants with RSV or HRV infections are present and that the expression of IFN lambda 1 correlates with the severity of RSV bronchiolitis.

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