Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) is endemic in Europe and can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (nephropathia epidemica). Disease features include fever, thrombocytopenia, and acute kidney injury (AKI). This retrospective cohort study of forty PUUV patients aims to characterize associations of serum immunological, hemostatic or kidney injury markers to disease severity. While interleukin-18 (IL-18) was significantly increased in severely thrombocytopenic patients (<100 × 109 platelets/L) compared to patients with higher platelet counts, RANTES was significantly decreased in these patients. These data suggest that patients with significant thrombocytopenia might have experienced pronounced Th1 immune responses. When kidney dysfunction was used as the primary disease outcome, recently identified AKI biomarkers (Cystatin C, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7, Nephrin, and trefoil factor 3) were significantly upregulated in patients with severe PUUV infection, defined as the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) below 30 m/min/1.73 m2. The increased expression of these markers specifically indicates pathology in glomeruli and proximal tubuli. Furthermore, E-selectin was significantly higher while interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10) was significantly lower in PUUV patients with more severe kidney dysfunction compared to patients with higher eGFR-values. Increased E-selectin illustrates the central role of endothelial cell activation, whereas decreased IP-10 could indicate a less important role of this cytokine in the pathogenesis of kidney dysfunction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was funded in part by the Netherlands Centre for One Health Ph.D. Research Program and the EU project Platform foR European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics under grant agreement No. HEALTH-F3-2013-602525.
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