Cytokine Profiles during Invasive Nontyphoidal Salmonella Disease Predict Outcome in African Children
Gilchrist JJ., Heath JN., Msefula CL., Gondwe EN., Naranbhai V., Mandala W., MacLennan JM., Molyneux EM., Graham SM., Drayson MT., Molyneux ME., MacLennan CA.
NontyphoidalSalmonellais a leading cause of sepsis in African children. Cytokine responses are central to the pathophysiology of sepsis and predict sepsis outcome in other settings. In this study, we investigated cytokine responses to invasive nontyphoidalSalmonella(iNTS) disease in Malawian children. We determined serum concentrations of 48 cytokines with multiplexed immunoassays in Malawian children during acute iNTS disease (n= 111) and in convalescence (n= 77). Principal component analysis and logistic regression were used to identify cytokine signatures of acute iNTS disease. We further investigated whether these responses are altered by HIV coinfection or severe malnutrition and whether cytokine responses predict inpatient mortality. Cytokine changes in acute iNTS disease were associated with two distinct cytokine signatures. The first is characterized by increased concentrations of mediators known to be associated with macrophage function, and the second is characterized by raised pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines typical of responses reported in sepsis secondary to diverse pathogens. These cytokine responses were largely unaltered by either severe malnutrition or HIV coinfection. Children with fatal disease had a distinctive cytokine profile, characterized by raised mediators known to be associated with neutrophil function. In conclusion, cytokine responses to acute iNTS infection in Malawian children are reflective of both the cytokine storm typical of sepsis secondary to diverse pathogens and the intramacrophage replicative niche of NTS. The cytokine profile predictive of fatal disease supports a key role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of NTS sepsis.