—To determine serum levels of acute-phase proteins and interleukin 1B, interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 8 in children with pertussis.
—Divisions of Infectious Diseases, Regional Hospital, and Pediatrics, University of Pavia, Varese, Italy.
—Eight children with pertussis, six with acute febrile infections, and eight healthy control children matched for sex, age, and time presentation over a 32-month study period.
—An immunoenzymatic assay was used to detect serum levels of all cytokines. Normal values of C-reactive protein, α1-acid glycoprotein, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were observed in the serum of patients with pertussis. The mean (±SD) detectable levels of tumor necrosis factor α (65.0±50.4 pg/mL) and interleukin 6 (32.3±17.8 pg/mL) were observed in the serum of patients with pertussis. In contrast, a nonsignificant increment of interleukin 1B levels (66.5±83.7 pg/mL) and interleukin 8 levels (12.7±17.8 pg/mL) was noted in the serum of the same patients. Increased and significant levels of all four cytokines were noted in most of the serum samples of patients with acute febrile infections.
—Acute-phase response is absent in patients with pertussis, whereas detectable and significant serum levels of tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 were observed in some such patients.(AJDC. 1993;147:27-29)