Participation of immune complexes in adenovirus infection

Acta Paediatr. 1992 Dec;81(12):983-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1992.tb12159.x.


To determine the participation of immune complexes during adenovirus infection, we evaluated serum and necropsy specimens of patients with confirmed adenovirus infection of the lower respiratory tract. In lung and kidney from seven dead patients, immunofluorescence revealed the presence of hexon, immunoglobulins and complement. These patients had clinical manifestations of kidney dysfunction. In dead patients (3/3 in whom serum was available) neither anti-adenovirus antibodies nor adenovirus-specific immune complexes could be found in the final stage of the infection. However, two of these patients had anti-adenovirus antibodies and immune complexes in samples obtained early in the infection. Most patients (16/19) who survived the infection had circulating anti-adenovirus antibodies. Half also had immune complexes specific for adenovirus in some moment of the illness. This suggests that immune complexes arise during respiratory infection by adenovirus, probably contributing to its clinical picture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / immunology*
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / pathology
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex