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Keywords:

  • CMV infection;
  • cytokines;
  • early-onset preeclampsia;
  • HELLPs;
  • TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression

Problem

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection was previously reported in pregnancy complications. However, its seroprevalence and associated Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression in early-onset preeclampsia (EOPE) with hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme and low platelets syndrome (HELLPs) are unexplored.

Method of study

A case–control study was performed to examine maternal CMV antibodies, neutrophil Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and -4 expression as well as the cytokine profile in EOPE with HELLPs (EOPE-HELLPs) (n = 10), late-onset preeclampsia (LOPE) (n = 20), normal pregnancy (n = 60), and non-pregnancy (n = 20) controls.

Results

EOPE-HELLPs had significantly increased CMV IgG sero-positivity, upregulated TLR-2/-4 mRNA expression, increased serum IL-6 and TNF-α, and reduced IL-10 compared with matched normal and non-pregnancy controls. No significant difference was observed between LOPE and normal pregnancy controls.

Conclusion

We observed a significant association between CMV IgG sero-positivity and innate immune response in EOPE-HELLPs. Our data suggest that CMV infection may be a risk factor for this disorder.