Differential regulation of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-10 during measles in Zambian children

J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 1;186(7):879-87. doi: 10.1086/344230. Epub 2002 Sep 13.


To determine the effect of measles virus infection on cytokine production in children from sub-Saharan Africa, temporal changes in cytokine production in vivo were analyzed and the T cell sources of type 1 and type 2 cytokines were identified in Zambian children with measles. The immune response during measles involved early type 1 responses, with production of interferon-gamma by CD8(+) T cells and of interleukin (IL)-2 by CD4(+) T cells. Subsequently, more-prolonged increases were observed in the type 2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13, both produced by CD4(+) T cells. IL-5 was regulated differently from IL-4 and IL-13: levels were low compared with levels in control children and were reflected in lower eosinophil counts during measles. Immunoglobulin E was lower in children with measles, despite high levels of IL-4 and IL-13. Plasma levels of IL-10 were elevated for weeks, potentially contributing to impaired cellular immunity and depressed hypersensitivity responses following measles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Eosinophils / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / blood*
  • Interleukin-5 / blood*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Measles / blood
  • Measles / ethnology
  • Measles / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Zambia / ethnology


  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-5
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma