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J Immunol. 1999 May 1;162(9):5609-15.

Impaired T cell proliferation in acute dengue infection.

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  • 1Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655, USA.


Decreased proliferative responses to mitogens and recall Ags have been observed in PBMC obtained during several acute human viral infections. To determine whether cell-mediated responses are altered during acute dengue infection, we examined the proliferative responses of PBMC from children enrolled in a prospective study of dengue infections in Thailand. All responses of PBMC during acute illness were compared with the same patients' PBMC obtained at least 6 mo after their infection. Proliferative responses to PHA, anti-CD3, tetanus toxoid, and dengue Ags were decreased significantly in PBMC obtained during the acute infection. The proliferative responses to PHA were restored by the addition of gamma-irradiated autologous convalescent or allogeneic PBMC. Cell contact with the irradiated PBMC was necessary to restore proliferation. Non-T cells from the acute PBMC of dengue patients did not support proliferation of T cells from control donors in response to PHA, but T cells from the PBMC of patients with acute dengue proliferated if accessory cells from a control donor were present. Addition of anti-CD28 Abs restored anti-CD3-induced proliferation of the PBMC of some patients. The percentage of monocytes was reduced in the acute sample of PBMC of the dengue patients. Addition of IL-2 or IL-7, but not IL-4 or IL-12, also restored proliferation of acute PBMC stimulated with anti-CD3. The results demonstrate that both quantitative and qualitative defects in the accessory cell population during acute dengue illness result in a depression of in vitro T cell proliferation.

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