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Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Dec;13(4):207-11.

IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8 levels in gyneco-obstetric infections.

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Laboratorio de Microbiología, Cátedra de Clínica Pediatrica Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.



During pregnancy cytokines and inflammatory mediators stimulate the expression of prostaglandin, the levels of which determine the onset of labor. The aim of this work was to study interleukin IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8 levels in the vaginal discharge, serum and urine of pregnant women with genitourinary infection before and after specific treatment. One hundred and fifty-one patients were studied during the second or third trimester of their pregnancy.


The selected patients were: healthy or control group (n = 52), those with bacterial vaginosis (n = 47), those with vaginitis (n = 37), those with asymptomatic urinary infection (n = 15) and post-treatment. The level of cytokines was assayed by ELISA test. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used for statistical analysis.


The IL-1beta levels in vaginal discharge were: control 103.5 +/- 24.2 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 1030 +/- 59.5, vaginitis 749.14 +/- 66.7l ( p < 0.0001), post-treatment 101.4 +/- 28.7. IL-6 values were similar in both control and infected groups, and there were no patients with chorioamnionitis. In vaginal discharge IL-6: control 14.2 +/- 3.9 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 13.2 +/- 3.8, vaginitis 13 +/- 4.2. IL-8 levels were: control 1643 +/- 130.3 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 2612.7 +/- 257.7, vaginitis 3437 +/- 460 (p < 0.0001), post-treatment 1693 +/- 126.6. In urine the results were: control 40.2 +/- 17 pg/ml, asymptomatic urinary infection 1200.7 +/- 375 (p < 0.0001). In patients with therapeutic success both IL-1beta and IL-8 returned to normal levels.


Genitourinary infections induce a significant increase in IL-1beta and IL-8 levels in vaginal secretions, and IL-8 in urine as well. Both cytokines could be useful as evolutive markers of infection.

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