Serum cytokine responses during acute human granulocytic ehrlichiosis

J. S. Dumler, E. R. Trigiani, J. S. Bakken, M. E. Aguero-Rosenfeld, G. P. Wormser

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Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) is caused by obligate intracellular bacteria in the Ehrlichia phagocytophila group. The disease ranges from subclinical to fatal. We speculated that cell-mediated immunity would be important for recovery from and potentially in the clinical manifestations of HGE; thus, serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), gamma interferon (IFN-γ), IL-10, and IL-4 concentrations were studied. IFN-γ (1,035 ± 235 pg/ml [mean ± standard error of the mean]) and IL-10 (118 ± 46 pg/ ml) concentrations were elevated in acute-phase sera versus convalescent sera and normal subjects (P ≤ 0.013 and P ≤ 0.018, respectively). TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-4 levels were not elevated. Cytokine levels in severely and mildly affected patients were not different. HGE leads to induction of IFN-γ-dominated cell-mediated immunity associated with clinical manifestations, recovery from infection, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-8
Number of pages3
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

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    Dumler, J. S., Trigiani, E. R., Bakken, J. S., Aguero-Rosenfeld, M. E., & Wormser, G. P. (2000). Serum cytokine responses during acute human granulocytic ehrlichiosis. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, 7(1), 6-8.