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Immunologic Difference between Hypersensitivity to Mosquito Bite and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Associated with Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076711
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a life-threatening, virus-triggered immune disease. Hypersensitivity to mosquito bite (HMB), a presentation of Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus infection (CAEBV), may progress to HLH. This study aimed to investigate the immunologic difference between the HMB episodes and the HLH episodes associated with EBV infection. Immunologic changes of immunoglobulins, lymphocyte subsets, cytotoxicity, intracellular perforin and granzyme expressions, EBV virus load and known candidate genes for hereditary HLH were evaluated and compared. In 12 HLH episodes (12 patients) and 14 HMB episodes (4 patients), there were both decreased percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ and increased memory CD4+ and activated (CD2+HLADR+) lymphocytes. In contrast to HMB episodes that had higher IgE levels and EBV virus load predominantly in NK cells, those HLH episodes with virus load predominantly in CD3+ lymphocyte had decreased perforin expression and cytotoxicity that were recovered in the convalescence period. However, there was neither significant difference of total virus load in these episodes nor candidate genetic mutations responsible for hereditary HLH. In conclusion, decreased perforin expression in the HLH episodes with predominant-CD3+ EBV virus load is distinct from those HMB episodes with predominant-NK EBV virus load. Whether the presence of non-elevated memory CD4+ cells or activated lymphocytes (CD2+HLADR+) increases the mortality rate in the HLH episodes remains to be further warranted through larger-scale studies.

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