Changes in plasma IL4, TNFá and CRP in response to regular passive smoking at home among healthy school children in Khartoum, Sudan

Afr Health Sci. 2012 Mar;12(1):41-7.


Background: Regular exposure to tobacco smoke at home causes airway inflammation and altered cytokine regulation; however, there is variation between individuals of different countries.

Objective: To determine effects of passive smoking on plasma IL4, TNFá, and CRP in healthy male school-children in Khartoum.

Methods: A total of 135 male school-pupils (69 passive smokers and 66 non-smokers) were selected randomly from three primary schools for boys in Khartoum. Information about smoking history was collected from each pupil and his parents using a questionnaire. Plasma CRP, IL4 and TNFá were measured using commercially available ELISA kits.

Results: Plasma IL4 and TNFá in the passive smokers (mean ± SEM) is at 2.92 ± 0.93 and 19.78 ± 4.67 pg/ml respectively; whereas in the non-smokers . It is at 0.45 ± 0.28 and 5.05 ± 1.54 pg/ml respectively. The difference between the two groups is statistically significant (p <0.05). The mean plasma IL4 and TNFá were lowest with no exposure, higher with moderate exposure, and highest with heavy exposure (P < 0.05). Plasma CRP showed insignificant difference between the two groups.

Conclusion: Passive smoking causes significant rise in plasma TNFá and IL4 with a dose dependent effect among school-pupils in Khartoum.

Keywords: CRP; IL4; TNFa; children; passive smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-4 / blood*
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Schools
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-4
  • C-Reactive Protein