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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2011 Feb;61(1):129-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2010.00759.x. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Circulating levels of interleukin-17A and interleukin-23 are increased in patients with gonococcal infection.

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Dipartimento Malattie Infettive Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the etiological agent of gonorrhoea, an infectious disease characterized by acute inflammation of the urogenital tract with a massive infiltration of neutrophils. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte recruitment is one of the activities of the recently described interleukin-17A (IL-17A); thus, we analyzed the serum concentration of IL-17A, together with IL-23 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), in 27 patients with gonorrhoea. The concentration of these cytokines in patients' sera was significantly higher than that detected in healthy controls and an inverse correlation was found between the concentrations of IL-17A and IFN-γ. This is the first report showing a significant increase of IL-17A and IL-23 serum levels in patients with gonorrhoea, suggesting new players in the immune response to N. gonorrhoeae.

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