Nasopharyngeal acute phase cytokines in viral upper respiratory infection: Impact on acute otitis media in children

Janak A. Patel, Sangeeta Nair, Krystal Revai, James Grady, Tasnee Chonmaitree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: The role of acute phase cytokines generated in the nasopharynx during viral upper respiratory infection (URI) in subsequent development of acute otitis media (AOM) has not been examined. METHODS:: We studied 326 virus-positive URI episodes in 151 children aged 6-36 months. Nasopharyngeal secretions collected within 1 to 7 days of URI onset were studied for viruses by conventional and molecular techniques, and for concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα by multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Children were followed up for 28 days to document AOM complication. RESULTS:: IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα concentrations correlated positively with each other (P < 0.001). IL-6 and TNFα concentrations were higher in males than in females (P = 0.01 and 0.02). IL-6 and TNFα concentrations were inversely correlated with age (P = 0.02 and 0.05). IL-6 concentrations correlated positively with duration of fever (P = 0.006) and correlated negatively with the number of days of URI symptoms (P = 0.026). Furthermore, IL-6 concentrations were significantly higher during adenovirus and influenza virus URIs as compared with enterovirus and rhinovirus URIs (P < 0.01). IL-1β concentrations were higher during URI episodes with AOM than those without AOM (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:: We found IL-6 nasopharyngeal secretions concentrations to be higher with adenovirus and influenza infection, and in children with systemic febrile response during URI. However, IL-1β was found to play a more important role in the development of AOM after URI. Additional studies are needed to further define the role of acute phase cytokines in virus-induced AOM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1007
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Acute otitis media
  • Acute phase cytokines
  • Upper respiratory tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Nasopharyngeal acute phase cytokines in viral upper respiratory infection: Impact on acute otitis media in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this