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Interleukin-8—An Early Marker for Bacterial Infection

Yoshio Hirao MD, Tsugiyasu Kanda MD, PhD, Yoshimasa Aso MD, PhD, Masato Mitsuhashi MD, PhD, Isao Kobayashi MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/GJ98-JAH8-VQ57-D6N0 39-44 First published online: 1 January 2000


The cytokine network is activated in the pathogenetic mechanisms of septic diseases. We measured serum concentrations of interleukin-8 (IL-8) in 152 patients with septic syndrome and 25 control subjects. IL-8 concentration in patients with septic syndrome was significantly (P<.05) higher than in controls. Serum IL-8 concentration was assayed prospectively in 6 patients undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. Increased IL-8 concentration preceded onset of fever and elevation of C-reactive protein by 1 day. Human peripheral whole blood cells were stimulated with phorbol 12–myristate 13–acetate (PMA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or lipoteichoic acid. IL-8 mRNA expression was detected 10 minutes after PMA or LPS exposure, and IL-8 was secreted into culture media 3 hours after exposure. These data suggest that IL-8 is a useful early indicator of bacterial infection.