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Scand J Infect Dis. 1995;27(2):125-30.

Correlation between serum TNF alpha and IL6 levels and severity of group A streptococcal infections.

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Department of Clinical Bacteriology, UmeƄ University, Sweden.


The multiorgan failure syndrome caused by group A streptococci (GAS) designated streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is believed to be mediated by cytokines induced by superantigens. In order to study the relationship between superantigen production, cytokine levels in patient sera, and clinical GAS manifestation we examined acute-phase sera and strains from 25 patients with GAS bacteremia. The patients had various disease manifestations, including STSS (44%), erysipelas (28%), septicemia (24%), wound infections (16%), and pneumonia (12%). Serotype T1M1 dominated, representing 56% of the isolates, but also strains of other serotypes were identified. The strains were found to produce the streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins (Spe) A, B, and F, as determined by immuno-blot analyses. There was no difference in amounts of toxin produced between strains isolated from patients with different manifestations of disease. Levels of TNF alpha, IL1 alpha, IL6, IL8, and IFN gamma in acute-phase sera were determined by use of ELISA and RIA assays. The analyses showed higher levels of IL6 in sera from patients with STSS than in sera from patients with bacteremia without shock. TNF alpha was elevated in sera from patients with STSS, as compared to sera from patients with uncomplicated pharyngotonsillitis. No increase in the levels of IL1 alpha, IL8, and IFN gamma could be found in the patient sera and there was no difference in the level of those cytokines between the various patient categories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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