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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1998 Nov;5(6):840-4.

Assessment of markers of the cell-mediated immune response after influenza virus infection in frail older adults.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether measures of the cell-mediated immune response to influenza virus could be used as markers of influenza virus infection. We studied 23 subjects who developed upper respiratory, lower respiratory, or systemic symptoms during a small outbreak of influenza in a nursing home population. Influenza virus culture from nasopharyngeal swabs yielded influenza virus isolates from 7 of the 23 subjects. Only three of the subjects had a fourfold rise in antibody titer to the influenza virus antigen positivity after the infection. Granzyme B and cytokine levels were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from all subjects and stimulated with live influenza virus. Elevated granzyme B levels in virus-stimulated PBMC in combination with lower respiratory tract or systemic symptoms in study subjects was a significant predictor of culture-confirmed influenza virus infection compared to those from whom influenza virus could not be identified. Cytokine levels did not distinguish between the two groups in a similar type of analysis. Granzyme B in combination with the clinical profile of symptoms may be a useful retrospective marker for influenza virus infection.

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