An interferon-γ-related cytokine storm in SARS patients

Kao Jean Huang, Ih Jen Su, Michel Theron, Yi Chun Wu, Shu Kuan Lai, Ching Chuan Liu, Huan Yao Lei

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464 Citations (Scopus)


Fourteen cytokines or chemokines were analyzed on 88 RT-PCR-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) patients. IFN-γ, IL-18, TGF-β, IL-6, IP-10, MCP-1, MIG, and IL-8, but not of TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, or TNFRI, were highly elevated in the acute phase sera of Taiwan SARS patients. IFN-γ was significantly higher in the Ab(+) groupthan in the Ab(-) group. IFN-γ, IL-18, MCP-1, MIG, and IP-10 were already elevated at early days post fever onset. Furthermore, levels of IL-18, IP-10, MIG, and MCP-1 were significantly higher in the death group than in the survival group. For the survival group, IFN-γ and MCP-1 were inversely associated with circulating lymphocytes count and monocytes count, but positively associated with circulating neutrophils count. It is concluded that an interferon-related cytokine storm was induced post SARS coronavirus infection, and this cytokine storm might be involved in the immunopathological damage in SARS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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