To evaluate the role of serum cytokines in discriminating M. pneumoniae infection in children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).Methods:
A prospective observational study was conducted. 385 hospitalized patients with CAP had only M. pneumoniae (MP group) infection; 321 hospitalized patients with CAP had no M. pneumoniae and other specific pathogen (control group) infections. Serum interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) were detected by flow cytometry.Results:
In children younger than 5 years, serum IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ levels from MP group were significantly higher than those from control group. However in children 5–15 years, serum IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ levels from MP group were significantly higher than those from control group. In the final multivariate logistic regression model for serum cytokine, moderately elevated IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-γ shows a higher prediction of development of M. pneumoniae pneumonia among CAP patients.Conclusions:
A specific cytokine pattern showed a higher prediction of M. pneumoniae pneumonia among CAP patients, further suggesting that serum cytokine pattern might be useful in differentiating infectious causative agents in children.