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Scand J Immunol. 2014 Jan;79(1):68-72. doi: 10.1111/sji.12131.

Increased levels of cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid of children with aseptic meningitis caused by mumps virus and echovirus 30.

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Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.


We measured levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with mumps meningitis, enteroviral echovirus 30 meningitis and children without central nervous system infection to investigate whether these molecules were involved in the pathogenesis of viral meningitis. The CSF was obtained from 62 children suspected with meningitis. These patients were classified to the mumps meningitis (n = 19), echovirus 30 meningitis (n = 22) and non-meningitis (n = 21) groups. The concentrations of interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-1 soluble receptor type 2 (IL-1R2), interleukin-8 (IL-8), human interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and human tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were determined by immunoassay. A significant increase was noted in the levels of IL-8, TNF-α and IL-1R2 in the CSF of both meningitis groups as compared to controls. The concentrations of IFN-γ and IL-1 differed significantly only between the mumps group and control. The levels of IL-1, IFN-γ and TNF-α were significantly higher in mumps meningitis when compared to the echovirus 30 group. Of all cytokines examined, only IFN-γ correlated with pleocytosis (r = 0.58) in the mumps meningitis group. The increased CSF cytokine levels are markers of meningeal inflammation, and each virus may cause a specific profile of the cytokine pattern.

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