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Nontyphoidal Salmonella is a leading cause of sepsis in African children. Cytokine responses are central to the pathophysiology of sepsis and predict sepsis outcome in other settings. In this study, we investigated cytokine responses to invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease in Malawian children. We determined serum concentrations of 48 cytokines with multiplexed immunoassays in Malawian children during acute iNTS disease (n = 111) and in convalescence (n = 77). Principal component analysis and logistic regression were used to identify cytokine signatures of acute iNTS disease. We further investigated whether these responses are altered by HIV coinfection or severe malnutrition and whether cytokine responses predict inpatient mortality. Cytokine changes in acute iNTS disease were associated with two distinct cytokine signatures. The first is characterized by increased concentrations of mediators known to be associated with macrophage function, and the second is characterized by raised pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines typical of responses reported in sepsis secondary to diverse pathogens. These cytokine responses were largely unaltered by either severe malnutrition or HIV coinfection. Children with fatal disease had a distinctive cytokine profile, characterized by raised mediators known to be associated with neutrophil function. In conclusion, cytokine responses to acute iNTS infection in Malawian children are reflective of both the cytokine storm typical of sepsis secondary to diverse pathogens and the intramacrophage replicative niche of NTS. The cytokine profile predictive of fatal disease supports a key role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of NTS sepsis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/cvi.00128-16

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI

Publication Date

07/2016

Volume

23

Pages

601 - 609

Addresses

Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Neutrophils, Macrophages, Humans, Salmonella Infections, Sepsis, HIV Infections, Malnutrition, Cytokines, Survival Analysis, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Malawi, Female, Male