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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jan;17(1):118-26. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00369-09. Epub 2009 Nov 11.

Clinical and immunological insights on severe, adverse neurotropic and viscerotropic disease following 17D yellow fever vaccination.

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  • 1Laboratório de Biomarcadores de Diagnóstico e Monitoração, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, FIOCRUZ/Minas, Avenida Augusto de Lima 1715, Barro Preto, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 30190-002, Brazil.


Yellow fever (YF) vaccines (17D-204 and 17DD) are well tolerated and cause very low rates of severe adverse events (YEL-SAE), such as serious allergic reactions, neurotropic adverse diseases (YEL-AND), and viscerotropic diseases (YEL-AVD). Viral and host factors have been postulated to explain the basis of YEL-SAE. However, the mechanisms underlying the occurrence of YEL-SAE remain unknown. The present report provides a detailed immunological analysis of a 23-year-old female patient. The patient developed a suspected case of severe YEL-AVD with encephalitis, as well as with pancreatitis and myositis, following receipt of a 17D-204 YF vaccination. The patient exhibited a decreased level of expression of Fc-gammaR in monocytes (CD16, CD32, and CD64), along with increased levels of NK T cells (an increased CD3(+) CD16(+/-) CD56(+/-)/CD3(+) ratio), activated T cells (CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells), and B lymphocytes. Enhanced levels of plasmatic cytokines (interleukin-6 [IL-6], IL-17, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10) as well as an exacerbated ex vivo intracytoplasmic cytokine pattern, mainly observed within NK cells (gamma interferon positive [IFN-gamma(+)], tumor necrosis factor alpha positive [TNF-alpha(+)], and IL-4 positive [IL-4(+)]), CD8(+) T cells (IL-4(+) and IL-5(+)), and B lymphocytes (TNF-alpha(+), IL-4(+), and IL-10(+)). The analysis of CD4(+) T cells revealed a complex profile that consisted of an increased frequency of IL-12(+) and IFN-gamma(+) cells and a decreased percentage of TNF-alpha(+), IL-4(+), and IL-5(+) cells. Depressed cytokine synthesis was observed in monocytes (TNF-alpha(+)) following the provision of antigenic stimuli in vitro. These results support the hypothesis that a strong adaptive response and abnormalities in the innate immune system may be involved in the establishment of YEL-AND and YEL-AVD.

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