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To evaluate immune cell activation in patients with melioidosis, serum samples were assayed for interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R), and soluble CD8 protein (sCD8). Forty patients with sepsis (23 fatal cases, 17 survivors) and 13 with localized disease were studied during acute illness; 12 additional patients were studied after discharge while on maintenance antimicrobial therapy. Serum concentrations of IFN-gamma and sIL-2R were greatly elevated, but sCD8 concentrations were not. These levels increased with disease severity and were associated with fatal outcomes. Macrophage activation by high concentrations of the cytokine IFN-gamma may contribute to pathophysiology and death in septicemic patients. Both IFN-gamma and sIL-2R seem to be predictive of outcome in patients with severe melioidosis and may prove useful in detection of relapse.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect Dis

Publication Date





1145 - 1148


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, CD8 Antigens, Child, Child, Preschool, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Interferon-gamma, Macrophage Activation, Melioidosis, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Receptors, Interleukin-2, Sepsis