T and B cell markers in dried blood spots of neonates with congenital cytomegalovirus infection: B cell numbers at birth are associated with long-term outcomes

Roberta Rovito, Marjolein J. Korndewal, Menno C. Van Zelm, Dimitrios Ziagkos, Els Wessels, Mirjam Van Der Burg, Aloys C M Kroes, Anton W. Langerak, Ann C T M Vossen

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Congenital CMV infection (cCMV) is the most common congenital infection that can cause long-term impairment (LTI). The pathogenesis of LTI is not completely understood. Fetal immunity may play a role in controlling the infection and preventing LTI, although immune activation may also contribute to fetal immunopathology. In this study, we analyzed various molecular markers of Tand B cell numbers in neonatal dried blood spots of 99 children with cCMV and 54 children without cCMV: δRec-ψJα signal joints on TCR excision circles, intron recombination signal sequence k-deleting element signal joints on Igκ-deleting recombination excision circles, genomic intron recombination signal sequence k-deleting element coding joint, genomic Vδ1-Jδ1, and Vδ2-Jδ1 rearrangements. Of this cohort, clinical symptoms at birth and LTI at 6 y of age were recorded. Neonates with cCMV had fewer TCR excision circles in their blood than non-infected controls. Furthermore, cCMV infection was associated with increased numbers of γδ T cells and B cells, and these numbers were positively correlated with CMV viral load in the dried blood spots. Infected children with a better long-term outcome had higher numbers of B cells atbirththanthosewhodeveloped LTI; no difference in B cell replication was observed. The potential protective role of B cells in controlling cCMV-related disease and the clinical value of this marker as a predictor of long-term outcome merit further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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