Characterization of immunological responses in patients with severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome: A cohort study in China

Qing Bin Lu, Ning Cui, Jian Gong Hu, Wei Wei Chen, Wen Xu, Hao Li, Xiao Ai Zhang, Hinh Ly, Wei Liu, Wu Chun Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: The immunological responses of patients with severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) remain largely unknown. We aim to study the magnitude and sustainability of host immune responses and their correlation with clinical, virological and hematological parameters. Methods: A longitudinal cohort study was performed in a SFTS reference hospital. The sequential immunological evaluation was determined for SFTSV infected patients, including anti-SFTSV IgM, IgG antibodies and the lymphocyte subsets. Results: Altogether 298 laboratory-confirmed SFTS cases were analyzed, from whom 55 patients were followed after convalescence. SFTSV specific IgM antibody could be detected at medium of 9 days, surged to peak levels by 4 weeks, and remained persistent until 6 months after disease onset. SFTSV specific IgG antibody could be detected at medium of 6 weeks; surged to peak levels by 6 months, and remained positive in most of the patients even at 3 years after infection. SFTS patients experienced obvious T cell, B cell and NK cells loss during the first week of infection, which was rapidly restored to normal levels. A significantly lower level of humoral immunity was identified concurrently from severe disease, especially in acute phase of the infection. These abnormalities can be used as a potential indicator in the prediction of an adverse clinical outcome. Conclusions: Information gained from this study have clinical significance in enhancing our understanding of SFTS immunological characteristics and the disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1255
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases ( 2013ZX10004-202 ), Natural Science Foundation of China ( 81222037 , 81473023 , and 81290344 ) and the Youth Talent Support Program by School of Public Health, Peking University . The funding agents had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cohort study
  • Humoral immunity
  • Immunological response
  • Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome


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