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Phenotypic Characterization of Peripheral T Cells and Their Dynamics in Scrub Typhus Patients

Cited 32 time in Web of Science Cited 35 time in Scopus

Cho, Bon-A; Ko, Youngho; Kim, Yeon-Sook; Kim, Sanguk; Choi, Myung-Sik; Kim, Ik-Sang; Kim, Hang-Rae; Cho, Nam-Hyuk

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Public Library of Science
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol.6 No.8, p. e1789
Background: Scrub typhus, caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi infection, is one of the main causes of febrile illness in the Asia-Pacific region. Although cell-mediated immunity plays an important role in protection, little is known about the phenotypic changes and dynamics of leukocytes in scrub typhus patients. Methodology/Principal Findings: To reveal the underlying mechanisms of immunological pathogenesis, we extensively analyzed peripheral blood leukocytes, especially T cells, during acute and convalescent phases of infection in human patients and compared with healthy volunteers. We observed neutrophilia and CD4(+) T lymphopenia in the acute phase of infection, followed by proliferation of CD8(+) T cells during the convalescent phase. Massive T cell apoptosis was detected in the acute phase and preferential increase of CD8(+) T cells with activated phenotypes was observed in both acute and convalescent phases, which might be associated or correlated with elevated serum IL-7 and IL-15. Interestingly, peripheral Treg cells were significantly down-regulated throughout the disease course. Conclusions/Significance: The remarkable decrease of CD4(+) T cells, including Treg cells, during the acute phase of infection may contribute to the loss of immunological memory that are often observed in vaccine studies and recurrent human infection.
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  • College of Medicine
Research Area Function, Immune modulation by metabolites, T-cell anergy, differentiation of memory CD8+ T cells, metabolism


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