Local interferon-gamma levels during respiratory syncytial virus lower respiratory tract infection are associated with disease severity.J Infect Dis. 2001 Aug 01; 184(3):355-8.JI
To investigate the role of cell-mediated immunity during respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-10 levels in nasopharyngeal secretions were measured in infants with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) caused by RSV. A novel technique was used to measure in vivo cytokine levels in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs). Cytokine levels in the NPAs of 17 mechanically ventilated infants and 43 nonventilated hospitalized infants were compared. As expected, mechanically ventilated infants were significantly younger than nonventilated infants (7 vs. 14 weeks). IFN-gamma levels were above the limit of detection in the NPAs of 3 (18%) mechanically ventilated infants and in the NPAs of 26 (60%) nonventilated infants. IL-10 levels in the NPAs of mechanically ventilated and nonventilated infants were comparable. It is hypothesized that maturation-related mechanisms have a key role in the development of RSV LRTI that results in mechanical ventilation.