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      Reactivation of Multiple Viruses in Patients with Sepsis


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          A current controversy is whether patients with sepsis progress to an immunosuppressed state. We hypothesized that reactivation of latent viruses occurred with prolonged sepsis thereby providing evidence of clinically-relevant immunosuppression and potentially providing a means to serially-monitor patients' immune status. Secondly, if viral loads are markedly elevated, they may contribute to morbidity and mortality. This study determined if reactivation of herpesviruses, polyomaviruses, and the anellovirus TTV occurred in sepsis and correlated with severity. Serial whole blood and plasma samples from 560 critically-ill septic, 161 critically-ill non-septic, and 164 healthy age-matched patients were analyzed by quantitative-polymerase-chain-reaction for cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr (EBV), herpes-simplex (HSV), human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6), and TTV. Polyomaviruses BK and JC were quantitated in urine. Detectable virus was analyzed with respect to secondary fungal and opportunistic bacterial infections, ICU duration, severity of illness, and survival. Patients with protracted sepsis had markedly increased frequency of detectable virus. Cumulative viral DNA detection rates in blood were: CMV (24.2%), EBV (53.2%), HSV (14.1%), HHV-6 (10.4%), and TTV (77.5%). 42.7% of septic patients had presence of two or more viruses. The 50% detection rate for herpesviruses was 5–8 days after sepsis onset. A small subgroup of septic patients had markedly elevated viral loads (>10 4–10 6 DNA copies/ml blood) for CMV, EBV, and HSV. Excluding TTV, DNAemia was uncommon in critically-ill non-septic patients and in age-matched healthy controls. Compared to septic patients without DNAemia, septic patients with viremia had increased fungal and opportunistic bacterial infections. Patients with detectable CMV in plasma had higher 90-day mortality compared to CMV-negative patients; p<0.05. Reactivation of latent viruses is common with prolonged sepsis, with frequencies similar to those occurring in transplant patients on immunosuppressive therapy and consistent with development of an immunosuppressive state. Whether reactivated latent viruses contribute to morbidity and mortality in sepsis remains unknown.

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          Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor to reverse sepsis-associated immunosuppression: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial.

          Sustained sepsis-associated immunosuppression is associated with uncontrolled infection, multiple organ dysfunction, and death. In the first controlled biomarker-guided immunostimulatory trial in sepsis, we tested whether granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) reverses monocyte deactivation, a hallmark of sepsis-associated immunosuppression (primary endpoint), and improves the immunological and clinical course of patients with sepsis. In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, 38 patients (19/group) with severe sepsis or septic shock and sepsis-associated immunosuppression (monocytic HLA-DR [mHLA-DR] <8,000 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) per cell for 2 d) were treated with GM-CSF (4 microg/kg/d) or placebo for 8 days. The patients' clinical and immunological course was followed up for 28 days. Both groups showed comparable baseline mHLA-DR levels (5,609 +/- 3,628 vs. 5,659 +/- 3,332 mAb per cell), which significantly increased within 24 hours in the GM-CSF group. After GM-CSF treatment, mHLA-DR was normalized in 19/19 treated patients, whereas this occurred in 3/19 control subjects only (P < 0.001). GM-CSF also restored ex-vivo Toll-like receptor 2/4-induced proinflammatory monocytic cytokine production. In patients receiving GM-CSF, a shorter time of mechanical ventilation (148 +/- 103 vs. 207 +/- 58 h, P = 0.04), an improved Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation-II score (P = 0.02), and a shorter length of both intrahospital and intensive care unit stay was observed (59 +/- 33 vs. 69 +/- 46 and 41 +/- 26 vs. 52 +/- 39 d, respectively, both not significant). Side effects related to the intervention were not noted. Biomarker-guided GM-CSF therapy in sepsis is safe and effective for restoring monocytic immunocompetence. Use of GM-CSF may shorten the time of mechanical ventilation and hospital/intensive care unit stay. A multicenter trial powered for the improvement of clinical parameters and mortality as primary endpoints seems indicated. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00252915).
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            Sepsis definitions: time for change.

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              Trends in herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 seroprevalence in the United States.

              Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 are common infections worldwide. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is the cause of most genital herpes and is almost always sexually transmitted. In contrast, HSV-1 is usually transmitted during childhood via nonsexual contacts. Preexisting HSV-1 antibodies can alleviate clinical manifestations of subsequently acquired HSV-2. Furthermore, HSV-1 has become an important cause of genital herpes in some developed countries. To examine trends in HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence in the United States in 1999-2004 compared with 1988-1994. Cross-sectional, nationally representative surveys (US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys [NHANES]), were used to compare national seroprevalence estimates from 1999-2004 with those from 1988-1994, and changes in HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence since 1976-1980 were reviewed. Persons aged 14 to 49 years were included in these analyses. Seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies based on results from type-specific immunodot assays; diagnosis of genital herpes. The overall age-adjusted HSV-2 seroprevalence was 17.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.8%-18.3%) in 1999-2004 and 21.0% (95% CI, 19.1%-23.1%) in 1988-1994, a relative decrease of 19.0% between the 2 surveys (95% CI, -28.6% to -9.5%; P<.001). Decreases in HSV-2 seroprevalence were especially concentrated in persons aged 14 to 19 years between 1988 and 2004. In adolescents aged 17 to 19 years and young adults, the decreases in HSV-2 seroprevalence were significant even after adjusting for changes in sexual behaviors. Among those infected with HSV-2, the percentage who reported having been diagnosed with genital herpes was statistically different (14.3% in 1999-2004 and 9.9% in 1988-1994; P = .02). Seroprevalence of HSV-1 decreased from 62.0% (95% CI, 59.6%-64.6%) in 1988-1994 to 57.7% (95% CI, 55.9%-59.5%) in 1999-2004, a relative decrease of 6.9% between the 2 surveys (95% CI, -11.6% to -2.3%; P = .006). Among persons infected with HSV-1 but not with HSV-2, a higher percentage reported having been diagnosed with genital herpes in 1999-2004 compared with 1988-1994 (1.8% vs 0.4%, respectively; P<.001). These data show declines in HSV-2 seroprevalence, suggesting that the trajectory of increasing HSV-2 seroprevalence in the United States has been reversed. Seroprevalence of HSV-1 decreased but the incidence of genital herpes caused by HSV-1 may be increasing.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                11 June 2014
                : 9
                : 6
                : e98819
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
                [4 ]Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
                [5 ]Medical Diagnostic Discovery Department, BioMérieux Inc., Marcy 1'Etoile, France
                University of Florida College of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: Dr. Alexandre Pachot is an employee of Biomérieux. Biomérieux is trying to develop a method to follow the levels of various viruses in patient blood as an indicator of their immune status. Biomérieux provided no funding for the study and had no impact on writing up the study. This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AHW JTM JSB BHB AP WDS JMG GAS RSH. Performed the experiments: AHW JTM DR JSB BS. Analyzed the data: AHW JTM DR BS TLB ED WDS. Contributed to the writing of the manuscript: AHW BS JMG GAS RSH.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 10 April 2014
                : 7 May 2014
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                This work received financial support from the following National Institutes of Health grants: GM 441181, GM 55194, GM09839, AI101530, and HL 104985. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Critical Care and Emergency Medicine
                Infectious Diseases
                Inflammatory Diseases
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                The authors confirm that, for approved reasons, some access restrictions apply to the data underlying the findings. The data contains identifying human information and is available upon request. Requests for the data may be sent to Dr. Richard Hotchkiss ( hotch@ 123456wustl.edu ).



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