Effect of cytokine level variations in individuals on the progression and outcome of bacterial urogenital infections--a meta-analysis

Martin Singer, Sander Ouburg

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Bacterial urogenital infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are widespread inflammatory diseases, which may be accompanied by severe complications. These complications can range from basic inflammation to tubal pathology, infertility and neurological dysfunction, though infections go unnoticed in the majority of cases. Cytokines in the host play a vital role in both the initial and long-term immune response and inflammation. However, levels of cytokine expression vary between individuals. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of cytokine expression differences on severity of infections with these pathogens. Studies comparing expression of cytokines in humans with inflammation or inflammation-based complications were identified using NCBI, Google Scholar and Cochrane databases. Only studies into human cytokine expressions were included, and three articles per subject were required to be suitably analysed during meta-analysis. A total of 52 articles were included for meta-analysis. It was shown that differences in IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNFα and IFNγ affect the clinical outcome of Chlamydia trachomatis infection significantly. Similarly, IL-1 and IL-8 expression during Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection significantly affects the outcome of the disease. For Treponema pallidum infection, it was shown that IFNγ variation in hosts could be linked to severity of disease. However, a lack of studies to use in the meta-analysis and fluctuation in the resulting data depending on the adjustments makes adequate evaluation difficult.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPathogens and Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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