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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-2 in pus aspirate and blood in patients with amoebic liver abscess.

OBJECTIVES: Cell mediated immunity (CMI), cytokines and humoral immunity have been implicated in the pathogenesis of invasive amoebiasis. METHODS: The role of cytokines--tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin 2 (IL-2) in blood and pus aspirate was studied in 20 patients of amoebic liver abscess (ALA), before and after treatment and 10 controls. RESULTS: The mean TNF-alpha levels (pg/ml) in the controls and before treatment in the patients in serum and pus were 24.3 +/- 11.6, 28 +/- 14.5 and 161.2 +/- 81.3 (p < 0.002) respectively. The mean IL-2 levels (pg/ml) in the controls, serum and pus aspirate in the patients prior to treatment were 10.3 +/- 8.5, 39.2 +/- 26.1 and 117.0 +/- 65.9 respectively. The levels in the patients after therapy, increased to 47 +/- 25.7 (p < 0.001) and 134 +/- 59.4 (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The higher levels of TNF-alpha and IL-2 in the pus aspirate compared to blood pre treatment, supports the role of locally released cytokines in the target organ i.e. liver in amoebiasis. The rise in values observed after therapy are indicative of increased macrophage activity due to CMI occurring late in the course of the disease which may contribute to disease limitation and localisation in amoebiasis. The study suggests that locally released cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis of ALA.[1]


  1. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-2 in pus aspirate and blood in patients with amoebic liver abscess. Agarwal, S.K., Khatri, S., Anuradha, S., Singh, N.P., Baveja, U. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India. (1999) [Pubmed]
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