Protein profiling of nasopharyngeal aspirates of hospitalized and outpatients revealed cytokines associated with severe influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infections: A pilot study

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Abstract

Influenza A viruses (IAV) mutate rapidly and cause seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics, which result in substantial number of patient visits to the doctors and even hospitalizations. We aimed here to identify inflammatory proteins, which levels correlated to clinical severity of the disease. For this we analysed 102 cytokines and growth factors in human nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) samples of 27 hospitalized and 27 outpatients diagnosed with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection. We found that the relative levels of monocyte differentiation antigen CD14, lipocalin-2 (LCN2), C-C-motif chemokine 20 (CCL20), CD147, urokinase plasminogen activator surface receptor (uPAR), pro-epidermal growth factor (EGF), trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) were significantly lower (p < 0.008), whereas levels of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCL5), interleukin-8 (IL-8), complement factor D (CFD), adiponectin, and chitinase-3-like 1 (CHI3L1) were significantly higher (p < 0.008) in NPA samples of hospitalized than non-hospitalized patients. While changes in CD14, LCN2, CCL20, uPAR, EGF, MIF, CXCL5, IL-8, adiponectin and CHI3L1 levels have already been correlated with severity of IAV infection in mice and humans, our study is the first to describe association of CD147, RBP4, TFF3, and CFD with hospitalization of IAV-infected patients. Thus, we identified local innate immune profiles, which were associated with the clinical severity of influenza infections.

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