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Microbiol Immunol. 1996;40(8):569-73.

High levels of sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha in dengue-infected patients.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, CHU, Lille, France.


Soluble forms of the two molecular species of the cell surface TNF receptors (sTNFR p55 and sTNFR p75) can reduce the activity of TNF alpha but they may also enhance its function by stabilizing the active TNF alpha oligomer. Considering the pathophysiological importance of sTNFR p75 for the regulation of the bioavailability of TNF alpha in the body, we determined the serum levels of sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha in 45 children and 28 adults with laboratory-confirmed dengue infection by using immunoassays. The serum samples were obtained from day 1 to day 15 after the onset of the disease during the 1989-1990 outbreak of dengue-3 in Tahiti, French Polynesia. The patients were clinically classified as having dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and graded according to the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) into four grades from less severe (grade I) to severe (grade IV). The sera of both children and adult patients of all severity grades contained higher levels of sTNFR p75 than the sera of control subjects. Although high levels of TNF alpha were also detected in children and adults among grade I, II, III and IV patients, we found no correlation between sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha. We observed in adults a moderate elevation of sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha in sera compared with that observed in children. The raised levels of immunoreactive sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha in all clinical groups of dengue-infected patients strongly indicate activation of the TNF alpha system during dengue infection. The balance between sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha may be altered in dengue infection. Further investigations are needed to understand the role of sTNFR p75 and TNF alpha in the pathogenesis of DHF and to improve the management of dengue infection.

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