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J Infect Dis. 2005 Mar 1;191(5):746-8. Epub 2005 Jan 18.

The role of toll-like receptors in herpes simplex infection in neonates.

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Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs)--and their associated signal-transducing proteins--on the surface of cells have been demonstrated to account for most, if not all, of the events associated with bacterial sepsis. Using human cells expressing different TLRs, we demonstrated that the interaction between TLR2 and herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1-2 leads to the production of cytokines. Using peripheral-blood mononuclear cells, we tested the ability of cells from people of different age groups to make cytokines in response to HSV. An examination of the host responses of neonates to HSV indicates that, rather than producing less interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 in response to HSV than adults do, neonates produce more of these cytokines than adults do. This may explain the sepsis syndrome that is seen with HSV (and other virus infections) in neonates.

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