Levels of the soluble form of the interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 protein (IL-1RL-1/ST2) are elevated in the serum of patients with diseases characterized by an inflammatory response. The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of soluble ST2 (sST2) in dengue infected patients during the course of the disease. Twenty-four patients with confirmed dengue infection, classified as dengue fever, and 11 patients with other febrile illness (OFI) were evaluated. Levels of sST2 in serum and laboratory variables usually altered during dengue infections were measured. Dengue infected patients had higher serum sST2 levels than OFI at the end of the febrile stage and at defervescence (p=0.0088 and p=0.0004, respectively). Patients with secondary dengue infections had higher serum sST2 levels compared with patients with primary dengue infections (p=0.047 at last day of fever and p=0.030 at defervescence). Furthermore, in dengue infected patients, we found a significant negative correlation of sST2 with platelet and WBC counts, and positive correlation with thrombin time and transaminases activity. We suggest that sST2 could be a potential marker of dengue infection, could be associated with severity or could play a role in the immune response in secondary dengue virus infection.
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