Long-term cytokine content in children with SARS-CoV-2-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in comparison with the initial period of the disease


Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a quite rare condition linked to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The issue related to the peculiarities of the pathogenesis of MIS-C has not been studied sufficiently and requires further research to identify risk markers for the development of immune-destructive processes.

The purpose of the study is to analyze the serum content of pro-inflammatory cytokines in children who have had MIS-C associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Material and methods. 101 children aged 2 to 17 years were examined, 77 children among them had a confirmed diagnosis of MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2. Three groups were formed: one group is represented by children with a confirmed diagnosis of MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2 upon admission to the hospital; the second group is represented by children who suffered MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2 and completed an outpatient rehabilitation course; the third group is a comparison group. The groups are comparable in age. All children underwent determination of the serum concentrations of interleukine (IL-4, IL-6, IL-17A), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which was performed using commercial test systems for enzyme immunoassay produced by Vector-Best LLC (Russia) according to the instructions of manufacturer. Statistica processing of the obtained results was carried out using the Statistica 10.0 application package. For statistical processing, the z-test and the Newman-Keuls multiple comparison test were used. Differences were considered statistically significant at p<0.05.

Results and discussion. It was found that the serum concentration of IL-4, IL-6, IL-17A, MCP-1, VEGF both in the initial period of MIS-C and in the post-rehabilitation period was increased relative to the results of the comparison group. The level of IL-17A in the long-term period after MIS-C significantly exceeded the values of this cytokine in the acute period of the disease.

Conclusion. Determination of IL-17A and MCP-1 levels in blood serum may be an additional criterion for assessing the risk of developing autoreactive processes in children who have had MIS-C associated with SARS-CoV-2 in the long term.

Keywords:children; coronavirus infection; postrehabilitation period; cytokines; MIS-C; SARS-CoV-2

Funding. The work was performed using the equipment of the Center for Collective Use “Proteomic Analysis”, supported by funding from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science (agreement No. 075-15-2021-691).

Conflict of interest. The authors state that there is no conflict of interest.

Contribution. Research concept and design – Obukhova O.O., Ryabichenko T.I.; material collection and processing – Skosyreva G.A., Gorbenko O.M., Izumov A.O., Kartceva T.V.; statistical processing – Ryabichenko T.I., Obukhova O.O.; laboratory diagnostics – Gorbenko O.M., text writing – Obukhova O.O., Ryabichenko T.I., Skosyreva G. A.; editing – Voevoda M.I.

For citation: Obukhova O.O., Ryabichenko T.I., Skosyreva G.A., Gorbenko O.M., Izyumov A.O., Kartseva T.V., Voevoda M.I. Long-term cytokine content in children with SARS-CoV-2-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in comparison with the initial period of the disease. Infektsionnye bolezni: novosti, mneniya, obuchenie [Infectious Diseases: News, Opinions, Training]. 2023; 12 (4): 10–6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33029/2305-3496-2023-12-4-10-16 (in Russian)


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Aleksandr V. Gorelov
Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, MD, Head of Infection Diseases and Epidemiology Department of the Scientific and Educational Institute of Clinical Medicine named after N.A. Semashko ofRussian University of Medicine, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Professor of the Department of Childhood Diseases, Clinical Institute of Children's Health named after N.F. Filatov, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Deputy Director for Research, Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Rospotrebnadzor (Moscow, Russian Federation)

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