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High production of interleukin-10 and interferon-γ in influenza-associated MERS in the early phase


Shinichiro Morichi, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Tokyo Medical University 6-7-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan. Email:


Mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with a reversible splenial lesion (MERS) occurs in various diseases and pathologies, and the clinical symptoms are not consistent with the impaired region. The mechanism of the region specificity is unclear. We investigated the cytokine profiling in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum obtained from a child with MERS during influenza infection, and compared them with those of serious another serious type of influenza-associated encephalopathy. There was no elevation of Interleukin (IL)-1β, which induces convulsion. The inhibitory cytokines of IL-10 and IFN-γ were elevated in the early phase in CSF. Comparing them with other patients, the elevation of the cytokine levels were generally mild. Considering that the prognosis of this MERS case was favorable and high levels of inhibitory cytokines including IL-10 and IFN-γ might work to localize the lesion and to prevent sequelae.