Title

Global gene expression profiling in infants with acute respiratory syncytial virus broncholitis demonstrates systemic activation of interferon signaling networks

Document Type

Article

Department

Emergency Medicine

Abstract

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of pedi- atric lower respiratory tract infections and has a high impact on pediatric emergency department utilization. Variation in host response may influence the pathogenesis and disease severity. We evaluated global gene expression profiles to better understand the systemic host response to acute RSV bron- chiolitis in infants and young children. Methods: Patients (age 24 months) who were clinically diagnosed with acute bronchiolitis and who had a positive rapid test for RSV assay were recruited from the Texas Children’s Hospital emergency department. Global gene expression of peripheral whole blood cells were analyzed in 21 cases and 37 age-matched healthy controls. Transcripts exhibiting significant upregulation and downregulation as a result of RSV infection were iden- tified and confirmed in a subset of samples using RNA sequencing. The potential pathways affected were analyzed. Results: Blood was obtained from patients with acute RSV bronchiolitis (mean age 6 months). Of these, 43% were admitted to the hospital, 52% were given intravenous fluids and 24% received oxygen. Highly significant expression dif- ferences were detected in a discovery cohort of White infants (N = 33) and validated in an independent group of African–American infants (N = 19). Indi- viduals with mild disease (N = 15) could not be distinguished from subjects with clinically moderate disease (N = 5). Pathway enrichment analyses of the differentially expressed genes demonstrated extensive activation of the innate immune response, particularly the interferon signaling network. There was a significant downregulation of transcripts corresponding to antigen presentation.

Comments

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal