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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21461. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021461. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Systemic signature of the lung response to respiratory syncytial virus infection.

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Laboratory for Health Protection Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a frequent cause of severe bronchiolitis in children. To improve our understanding of systemic host responses to RSV, we compared BALB/c mouse gene expression responses at day 1, 2, and 5 during primary RSV infection in lung, bronchial lymph nodes, and blood. We identified a set of 53 interferon-associated and innate immunity genes that give correlated responses in all three murine tissues. Additionally, we identified blood gene signatures that are indicative of acute infection, secondary immune response, and vaccine-enhanced disease, respectively. Eosinophil-associated ribonucleases were characteristic for the vaccine-enhanced disease blood signature. These results indicate that it may be possible to distinguish protective and unfavorable patient lung responses via blood diagnostics.

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