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IL- 27 in patients with Chikungunya fever: A possible chronicity biomarker?

Gualberto Cavalcanti, Nara, MeloVilar, Kamila, Branco Pinto Duarte, Angela Luzia, Jesus Barreto de Melo Rêgo, Moacyr, Cristiny Pereira, Michelly, da Rocha Pitta, Ivan, Diniz Lopes Marques, Claudia, Galdino da Rocha Pitta, Maíra
Acta tropica 2019 v.196 pp. 48-51
Chikungunya fever, Chikungunya virus, antibodies, biomarkers, blood serum, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, females, fever, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, interleukin-17, interleukin-21, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, patients, rheumatoid arthritis, transforming growth factor beta
Although many patients with chikungunya virus disease (CHIKVD), an arboviral disease characterized by sudden fever and incapacitating poliartralgia, develop chronic articular symptoms, the mechanisms involved in CHIKVD’s chronification and its possible biomarkers remain poorly understood. Interleukin (IL)-17A, IL-21, IL-22, IL-29, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β have been implicated in the pathogenesis of other inflammatory joint diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Since chronic manifestations of CHIKVD share many clinical and immunological characteristics with those diseases, we assessed the serum levels of those cytokines and analyzed their associations with clinical manifestations in patients with CHIKVD.We evaluated 45 patients (36 female, mean age: 55.2 ± 13.8 years) with CHIKVD serologically confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), articular manifestations upon evaluation, and no previous history of inflammatory rheumatologic diseases, along with 49 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. We tested anti-Chikungunya IgM and IgG antibodies and measured IL-17A, IL-21, IL-22, IL-27, IL-29, and TGF-β serum levels with specific ELISA kits.IL-27, IL-17A, and IL-29 appeared in most patients but not in controls. IL-27 serum levels were higher in patients with chronic symptoms (median: 523.0 pg/mL [62.5–1,048]) than in ones in the acute or subacute stage (median: 62.5 pg/mL [62.5–483.8], p = .008). In patients with CHIKVD, we found significant correlations between IL-27 levels and tender joint counts (r = .32, p = .006), along with associations between IL-17A levels and swollen joint counts (r = .315, p = .0352). Furthermore, patients with arthritis had higher IL-17A levels (median: 23.14 pg/mL [20.6–25.86]) than ones without (median: 20.29 pg/mL [3.91–22.43], p = .0352). We did not detect IL-22 in either group or IL-21 in patients with CHIKVD.Serum levels of IL-17A, IL-27, and IL-29 were high in patients with CHIKVD and had important associations with articular manifestations, which might indicate the inflammatory nature of Chikungunya infection in patients with joint symptoms and the roles of those cytokines in the disease’s pathophysiology.