Dengue hemorrhagic fever in infants: a study of clinical and cytokine profiles

J Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 15;189(2):221-32. doi: 10.1086/380762. Epub 2004 Jan 9.


A prospective study of clinical and cytokine profiles of 107 infants with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)/dengue shock syndrome (DSS) was conducted. Fever, petechiae on the skin, and hepatomegaly were the most common clinical findings associated with DHF/DSS in infants. DSS occurred in 20.5% of the patients. Hemoconcentration and thrombocytopenia were observed in 91.5% and 92.5% of the patients, respectively. Serologic testing revealed that almost all of the patients (95.3%) had primary dengue virus infections. These data demonstrate that clinical and laboratory findings of DHF/DSS in infants are compatible with the World Health Organization's clinical diagnostic criteria for pediatric DHF. The present study is the first to report evidence of production of cytokines in infants with DHF/DSS and to describe the difference between the cytokine profile of infants with primary dengue virus infections and children with secondary infections. Overproduction of both proinflammatory cytokines (interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-10 and -6) may play a role in the pathogenesis of DHF/DSS in infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Protein C / analysis
  • Protein S / analysis
  • Severe Dengue / blood
  • Severe Dengue / immunology*
  • Severe Dengue / physiopathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Cytokines
  • Protein C
  • Protein S
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma