Author(s): Aditi Singh*, Rajesh Kulshreshtha & Asha Mathur
Japanese encephalitis (JE) one of the most common cause of acute encephalitis in tropical regions, has generated much public anxiety in India. An early influx of macrophages followed by neutrophils at the site of injury in different organs in humans and mice has previously been reported. It correlated with production of a neutrophil chemotactic protein derived from macrophages. In the present study out of a total of 324 acute encephalitic patients, admitted in Gandhi memorial and associated hospitals, Lucknow, 121 patients with one or more indicators of JE virus infection were included. Significant pleocytosis (mean TLC value of 126+52 cells / mm3 ) in CSF and leucocytosis (>11,000 cells/mm3 ) in peripheral blood was observed at the time of admission. The leucocytosis increased significantly during second week in 67% of patients. The peripheral blood mononuclear cells culture done on alternate days was tested for chemotactic activity (hMDF), which was observed to be highest in second week of illness. The direct detection of hMDF in circulation by dot blot was positive in 92% of acute serum samples, with negligible (12.5%) reactivity for convalescent sera. A correlation between the hMDF levels and severity of illness has also been observed.