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Citation: Mengmeng Li,  Yan Xiong,  Mingyue Li,  Wenjing Zhang,  Jia Liu,  Yanfang Zhang,  Shue Xiong,  Congcong Zou,  Boyun Liang,  Mengji Lu,  Dongliang Yang,  Cheng Peng,  Xin Zheng. Depletion but Activation of CD56dimCD16+ NK Cells in Acute Infection with Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus [J].VIROLOGICA SINICA.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12250-020-00224-3

Depletion but Activation of CD56dimCD16+ NK Cells in Acute Infection with Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus

  • Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease with high mortality (12%–30%). The mechanism by which the SFTS bunyavirus (SFTSV) causes severe illness remains unclear. To evaluate the phenotypic and functional characteristics of the NK cell subsets in SFTS patients, twenty-nine SFTS patients were sequentially sampled from admission until recovery. Phenotypic and functional characteristics of NK cell subsets in circulating blood were analysed via flow cytometry. Then, correlations between NK cell subset frequencies and the SFTS index (SFTSI) were evaluated in all SFTS patients (15 mild, 14 severe) upon admission. The frequencies of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were greatly decreased in early SFTSV infection and were negatively correlated with disease severity. Additionally, higher Ki-67 and granzyme B expression and relatively lower NKG2A expression in CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were observed in acute infection. Moreover, the effector function of CD56dim NK cells was increased in the acute phase compared with the recovery phase in nine severe SFTS patients. Additionally, interleukin (IL)-15, interferon (IFN)-α, IL-18 and IFN-γ secretion was markedly increased during early infection. Collectively, despite depletion of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells, activation and functional enhancement of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were still observed, suggesting their involvement in defence against early SFTSV infection.

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    Depletion but Activation of CD56dimCD16+ NK Cells in Acute Infection with Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus

      Corresponding author: Cheng Peng, questionpc2005@163.com
      Corresponding author: Xin Zheng, xin11@hotmail.com
    • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Infection and Immunology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
    • 2 Department of Gastroenterology, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, People's Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450003, China
    • 3 Department of Gastroenterology, Xiangyang Central Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Hubei University of Arts and Science, Xiangyang 441021, China
    • 4 Department of Paediatrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430032, China
    • 5 State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
    • 6 Institute of Virology, University Hospital of Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen 45122, Germany

    Abstract: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease with high mortality (12%–30%). The mechanism by which the SFTS bunyavirus (SFTSV) causes severe illness remains unclear. To evaluate the phenotypic and functional characteristics of the NK cell subsets in SFTS patients, twenty-nine SFTS patients were sequentially sampled from admission until recovery. Phenotypic and functional characteristics of NK cell subsets in circulating blood were analysed via flow cytometry. Then, correlations between NK cell subset frequencies and the SFTS index (SFTSI) were evaluated in all SFTS patients (15 mild, 14 severe) upon admission. The frequencies of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were greatly decreased in early SFTSV infection and were negatively correlated with disease severity. Additionally, higher Ki-67 and granzyme B expression and relatively lower NKG2A expression in CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were observed in acute infection. Moreover, the effector function of CD56dim NK cells was increased in the acute phase compared with the recovery phase in nine severe SFTS patients. Additionally, interleukin (IL)-15, interferon (IFN)-α, IL-18 and IFN-γ secretion was markedly increased during early infection. Collectively, despite depletion of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells, activation and functional enhancement of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells were still observed, suggesting their involvement in defence against early SFTSV infection.

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