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Smoking Is a Risk Factor for Severe Acute Kidney Injury in Hantavirus-Induced Nephropathia Epidemica

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      Background/Aims: Hantaviruses are zoonotic pathogens causing emerging diseases worldwide. Patients typically present with fever, acute kidney injury (AKI) and thrombocytopenia. Puumala virus (PUUV) that causes nephropathia epidemica (NE) is common in Germany. Recently, a study from Finland revealed an association between nicotine consumption and the severity of AKI in NE. Differences between individuals in Finland and Germany might modulate the effect; therefore, the aim of our study was to prove that smoking is a risk factor for a severe course of NE in Germany. Methods: A cross-sectional prospective survey of 485 patients with hantavirus infections was performed. Clinical and laboratory data during the acute course of the disease were obtained from medical reports and files, while follow-up (including smoking status) data were collected prospectively. Results: Smoking information was available for 298 out of 485 patients (61%). Male was the predominant gender (67%), median age at the time of diagnosis was 50 (interquartile range, IQR 41-60) years and 34% of patients were current smokers during the phase of acute NE. Patients in the smoking group were significantly younger than in the non-smoking group (p < 0.0001). Peak serum creatinine levels were significantly higher in the smoking group than in the non-smoking patients (median 301 (IQR 186-469 μmol/l) vs. median 240 (IQR 137-469 μmol/l), p < 0.05). In addition, severe AKI (stages 2 and 3 using KDIGO criteria) was more common in current smokers (80%) than in the non-smokers (68%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Current smoking is a risk factor for severity of AKI in patients with acute PUUV infection in Germany. Therefore, information about smoking habits needs to be an integral part of the documentation in patients with suspected acute PUUV infection, and increased monitoring of kidney function should be done in NE patients who are current smokers.

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      Most cited references 38

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      Mortality Rate Patterns for Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome Caused by Puumala Virus

      To investigate nephropathia epidemica in Sweden during 1997–2007, we determined case-fatality rates for 5,282 patients with this disease. Overall, 0.4% died of acute nephropathia epidemica <3 months after diagnosis. Case-fatality rates increased with age. Only women showed an increased case-fatality rate during the first year after diagnosis.
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        The severity of Puumala hantavirus induced nephropathia epidemica can be better evaluated using plasma interleukin-6 than C-reactive protein determinations

        Background Nephropathia epidemica (NE) is a Scandinavian type of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome caused by Puumala hantavirus. The clinical course of the disease varies greatly in severity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin (IL)-6 levels associate with the severity of NE. Methods A prospectively collected cohort of 118 consecutive hospital-treated patients with acute serologically confirmed NE was examined. Plasma IL-6, CRP, and creatinine, as well as blood cell count and daily urinary protein excretion were measured on three consecutive days after admission. Plasma IL-6 and CRP levels higher than the median were considered high. Results We found that high IL-6 associated with most variables reflecting the severity of the disease. When compared to patients with low IL-6, patients with high IL-6 had higher maximum blood leukocyte count (11.9 vs 9.0 × 109/l, P = 0.001) and urinary protein excretion (2.51 vs 1.68 g/day, P = 0.017), as well as a lower minimum blood platelet count (55 vs 80 × 109/l, P < 0.001), hematocrit (0.34 vs 0.38, P = 0.001), and urinary output (1040 vs 2180 ml/day, P < 0.001). They also stayed longer in hospital than patients with low IL-6 (8 vs 6 days, P < 0.001). In contrast, high CRP did not associate with severe disease. Conclusions High plasma IL-6 concentrations associate with a clinically severe acute Puumala hantavirus infection, whereas high plasma CRP as such does not reflect the severity of the disease.
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          Cytokines present in smokers' serum interact with smoke components to enhance endothelial dysfunction.

          Cigarette smoking engenders inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, processes implicated in atherothrombotic disease. We hypothesized that an interaction between inflammatory cytokines in smokers' blood and circulating components of cigarette smoke is necessary to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in endothelium. We then explored the molecular mechanisms involved in these effects. Serum from nine healthy active smokers (AS) compared with serum from nine non-smokers (NS) showed higher levels of interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and a greater ability to induce ROS production, p47phox translocation to the plasma membrane, and COX-2 mRNA and protein expression in endothelial cells (ECs). Similar results were obtained in vivo and in vitro after treatment with aqueous extracts of cigarette smoke plus IL-1β and TNF-α(TS/IL-1β/TNF-α). In ECs increased ROS production and COX-2 mRNA induced by serum from AS correlated positively with their serum levels of IL-1β and TNF-α. Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between ROS generation and COX-2 mRNA. Simultaneous immuno-neutralization of IL-1β and TNF-α prevented endothelial dysfunction induced by serum from AS. Inhibitors of NADPH oxidase and/or p47phox siRNA diminished ROS production and COX-2 expression as well as phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and Akt mediated either by AS serum or by TS/IL-1β/TNF-α. Finally, direct inhibition of p38MAPK and Akt activity also abolished COX-2 expression mediated by both types of stimuli. Our results suggest a crucial role played by interactions between inflammatory cytokines and tobacco smoke in the induction of endothelial dysfunction.

            Author and article information

            aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Robert-Bosch Hospital, and bDepartment of Mathematics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany; cDivision of Nephrology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
            S. Karger AG (Basel, Switzerland karger@ )
            October 2016
            08 July 2016
            : 134
            : 2
            : 89-94
            Nephron 2016;134:89-94
            © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel

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