Increase in CD23+ B cells in infants with bronchiolitis is accompanied by appearance of IgE and IgG4 antibodies specific for respiratory syncytial virus

J Infect Dis. 1997 Jan;175(1):32-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/175.1.32.


Infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) may induce asthma-like symptoms and RSV-specific IgE in infected infants as a result of Th2-like response to RSV. The effect of RSV infection on the expression of B cell antigens CD21 and CD23, putative participants in Th2 responses, was investigated. Samples from bronchiolitic infants (n = 19) were tested by three-color immunofluorescence flow cytometry during the acute phase of infection and 4-6 weeks later. In 6 of 10 RSV-positive infants, the percentage of CD23+ B cells was higher than in 9 RSV-negative children and in controls. Both CD21+ and CD21- B cells exhibited a higher percentage of CD23. The group with increased expression of CD23 antigen had RSV-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies. These findings corroborate the hypothesis that RSV could provoke a Th2-type response, but the relationship between CD23 antigen and RSV infection must be determined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Infant
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / blood
  • Receptors, IgE / blood*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Complement 3d
  • Receptors, IgE
  • Immunoglobulin E