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Mast cells give clues in diagnosis, treatment of dengue
Date:4/30/2013

stigate the role of mast cells in attacking dengue virus in humans, and identified a biomarker a mast cell-derived product that appeared to predict the illness' most severe cases in human patients.

Most patients infected by a dengue virus develop a high fever, dubbed dengue fever, and recover on their own. However, a small number of these cases develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever, a dangerous condition marked by serious complications, including bleeding, respiratory distress and severe abdominal pain.

Until now, doctors have not been able to predict who will develop dengue hemorrhagic fever. When the researchers studied blood serum samples from patients with dengue infection, they found that the levels of a protein produced by mast cells, chymase, were significantly higher in the patients who developed dengue hemorrhagic fever compared to those who recovered after dengue fever.

"In addition to revealing a potential new way to diagnose and treat dengue infections, these findings may have much broader applicability for other infectious diseases where vascular leakage is a major pathologic outcome," said senior study author Soman N. Abraham, PhD, professor of pathology, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke Medicine and professor of emerging infectious diseases at Duke-NUS.


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Contact: Rachel Harrison
rachel.harrison@duke.edu
919-419-5069
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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