Role of TNF α, IL-6 and CXCL10 in dengue disease severity

Kiran Iqbal Masood, Bushra Jamil, Maryam Rahim, Muniba Islam, Muhammad Farhan, Zahra Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Dengue virus infections (Dengue) have become increasingly common in Pakistan and can result in case fatalities if not managed appropriately. Patients with Dengue virus infection may be asymptomatic or present with Dengue fever (DF), Dengue with warning signs (DWS) or severe Dengue (SD). Severity in Dengue is coincident with an exacerbated production of lymphocyte-induced cytokines and chemokines which are associated with plasma leakage. We investigated the association of circulating levels of cytokines such as Interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and CXCL-10 in Dengue patients with differing severity of disease. Materials and Methods: Dengue infection was confirmed by testing for human IgM to the Dengue virus. Dengue patients (n=58) and healthy controls (n=33) were recruited. Dengue patients were grouped into those with DF (n=39), DWS (n=15) and SD (n=4). Serum IL-6, TNFα and CXCL10 levels were tested by ELISA. The Mann Whitney U test was used for statistical analysis. Results: Circulating levels of TNFα (p≤0.001) and CXCL10 (p≤0.001) levels were increased in Dengue patients as compared with controls. When patients were stratified for disease severity, it was observed that CXCL10 was increased in DWS as compared to DF (p=0.046). IL-6 levels were increased in patients with SD as compared to those with DWS (p=0.044). TNFα levels were not found to differ between different groups of Dengue patients. Conclusion: Raised CXCL10 and TNFα levels were associated with increased clinical severity of Dengue infection and probably increased disease progression due to excessive inflammation and increased vascular changes in the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalIranian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • CXCL10
  • Dengue
  • IL6


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