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Minerva Medica 2020 June;111(3):245-53

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.19.06334-1

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Interferon signature in immunosuppressed patients with lower respiratory tract infections: dosage on bronchoalveolar lavage

Massimiliano BERGALLO 1, Linda FERRARI 2, Giulia FAOLOTTO 2, Piero E. BALBO 3, Paola MONTANARI 1, Filippo PATRUCCO 3, 4 , Francesco GAVELLI 4, Matteo DAVERIO 3, Mattia BELLAN 4, 5, 6, Livia SALMI 4, Luigi M. CASTELLO 4, Paolo RAVANINI 2

1 Department of Public Health and Pediatric Sciences, University of Turin Medical School, Turin, Italy; 2 Laboratory Medicine Department, Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Novara, Italy; 3 Division of Respiratory Diseases, Medical Department, Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Novara, Italy; 4 Department of Translational Medicine, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy; 5 Center for Autoimmune and Allergic Diseases (CAAD), Novara, Italy; 6 Immunorheumatology Unit, Division of Internal Medicine, Medical Department, Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Novara, Italy



BACKGROUND: Interferon signature (IS) is the measure of transcripts belonging to pathways of interferon activation. Viral infections can interfere with the interferon pathway, in particular herpesvirus present in immunocompromised hosts. The aim of our study was to evaluate if herpesvirus infections in immunocompromised patients with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) could lead to IS alterations.
METHODS: We measured IS transcription of six genes on bronchoalveolar lavage of immunocompromised patients with LRTI (IFI27, IFI44, IFIT1, ISG15, RSAD2, SIGLEC1). Patients were divided in three groups based on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and other herpesviruses coinfections.
RESULTS: We included 56 patients, 10 without and 17 with only EBV reactivation (respectively N and E groups) and 29 with EBV and other herpesviruses (group C). IS was higher in group C (P=0.01) compared to other ones, but single gene expressions were different among groups: IFI27 was higher whereas IFIT1 and ISG15 were lower in group C (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The continuous stimulation of interferon cascade by herpesviruses enhances IS. The analysis of IS in immunocompromised population is possible by limiting the use of IFI27, IFIT1, ISG15 genes. Our preliminary results seem to indicate that IS is a useful biomarker of cellular response to herpesvirus infection in immunocompromised patients.


KEY WORDS: Virus diseases; Immunosuppression; Interferons; Epstein-Barr virus infections; Bronchoalveolar lavage

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