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ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Clinical immunology

Serum concentrations of antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin LL-37 in patients with bacterial lung infections

Karol Majewski, Elżbieta Kozłowska, Paulina Żelechowska, Ewa Brzezińska-Błaszczyk

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2018; 43 (4): 453-457)
Online publish date: 2018/12/31
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Nowadays, data indicate that antimicrobial peptides play an important role in immunological defense. Human cathelicidin LL-37 possesses a broad spectrum of antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and is thereby an important component of defense mechanisms within the respiratory tract. In this study, we determined the LL-37 serum level in patients with pneumonia caused by different bacteria species in comparison with healthy subjects. Twenty-two patients with pneumonia caused by coccal Gram-positive bacteria (I), 16 patients with pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenzae (II), 29 patients with pneumonia caused by members of the Enterobacteriaceae (III), 13 patients caused by non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria (IV), and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Serum LL-37 concentration was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mean LL-37 concentration in pneumonia patients was significantly higher in group I (p = 0.0032), group II (p = 0.0022), and group III (p = 0.019), and significantly lower in group IV (p = 0.000004) as compared with healthy volunteers. Our data suggest that LL-37 plays an important role in defense mechanisms during pneumonia. The reduced level of this peptide in subjects with pneumonia caused by opportunistic bacteria may reflect weakened immune system reactivity in these patients.

pneumonia, immune system, antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidin LL-37, host defense

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