Cerebrospinal fluid cytokines in enterovirus 71 brain stem encephalitis and echovirus meningitis infections of varying severity

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Taiwan has experienced several outbreaks of enterovirus 71 (EV71) infections since 1998. This study examined the quantitative relationship between specific cytokines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the severity of EV71 brain stem encephalitis (BE), and investigated whether the CSF cytokine response differed from that to uncomplicated echovirus meningitis (EM). The study included 57 children with EV71 BE, of whom 24 had isolated BE, 24 had autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation, and nine had pulmonary oedema (PE), and 15 children with EM. All were confirmed by virus culture. Mean CSF glucose, total protein and lactate levels were increased significantly in association with the severity of EV71 BE. The mean CSF concentration of interleukin (IL)-1β in children with EV71 PE was significantly higher than in those with isolated BE. IL-6 and interferon (IFN)-γ levels were significantly higher for EV71 PE and ANS dysregulation than for isolated BE. In contrast, EM was associated with high levels of IL-1β and low levels of IFN-γ. Cytokines in the central nervous system, as well as in blood, appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of EV71 BE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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