Increased Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Production in Down syndrome Children Upon Stimulation with Live Influenza A Virus
Chantal J. M. Broers, Reinoud J. B. J. Gemke, Michel E. Weijerman, Koen F. van der Sluijs, A. Marceline van Furth
Journal of Clinical Immunology
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Children with down syndrome (DS) have an increased susceptibility to infections, due to altered humoral and/or cellular immunity. The aim of this study was to determine the cytokine production in whole blood of children with DS upon stimulation with live influenza A virus.
Whole blood of 61 children with DS and 57 of their healthy siblings was stimulated with 2.5 × 104 TCID50/ml influenza A virus during 6, 24, and 48 h. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IFN-α, IFN-γ concentrations, and viral load were measured at all time points.
At most of the time points, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 concentrations were significantly higher in children with DS following stimulation with live influenza A virus. IFN-α and IFN-γ levels were also significantly higher in the DS group. Viral clearance, however, was equal in both groups.
Children with DS have an altered immune response to influenza A virus. The production of higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines may be responsible for a more severe clinical course of viral disease in these children.