COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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High levels of interferon alpha in the sera of children with dengue virus infection.

We measured the levels of interferon alpha (IFN alpha) in the sera of Thai children hospitalized with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue fever (DF) to examine the role of IFN alpha in dengue virus infections of humans. The percentage of patients who had detectable levels of IFN alpha (> or = 3 U/ml) was higher in patients with DHF (80%, P < 0.001) and in patients with DF (60%, P < 0.001) than in healthy Thai children (7%). The levels of IFN alpha were higher in patients with DHF and in patients with DF on the first few days after the onset of fever than in healthy Thai children. The average levels of IFN alpha in patients with DHF were high two days before defervescence, decreasing gradually until the day of defervescence. There was a subset of patients with DHF who had increasing levels of IFN alpha after defervescence. However, the levels of IFN alpha in patients with DF were not high after fever subsided. The levels of IFN alpha were not different among children with DHF grades 1, 2 and 3. Among patients with DHF, T lymphocytes were activated to a higher degree in high IFN alpha producers than in low IFN alpha producers. These results indicate that similarly high levels of IFN alpha are produced in vivo during the acute stages of DHF and DF, and that high levels of IFN alpha remain after fever subsides in some patients with DHF, but not in patients with DF.

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