https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30660201/

2019 Jan 19;16(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12974-019-1405-8.

Cerebrospinal fluid CXLC13 indicates disease course in neuroinfection: an observational study

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The chemokine CXCL13 is an intensively investigated biomarker in Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB). Its role in other neuroinfections is increasingly recognized but less clear.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the significance of CXCL13 in established central nervous system (CNS) infections other than LNB by matching cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CXCL13 elevations with severity of the disease course.

METHODS:

We investigated 26 patients with bacterial (n = 10) and viral (n = 16; tick-borne encephalitis, n = 6; varicella zoster infection, n = 10) neuroinfections of whom CSF CXCL13 levels were available twice, from lumbar punctures (LP) performed at admission and follow-up. As outcome classification, we dichotomized disease courses into “uncomplicated” (meningitis, monoradiculitis) and “complicated” (signs of CNS parenchymal involvement such as encephalitis, myelitis, abscesses, or vasculitis). CXCL13 elevations above 250 pg/ml were classified as highly elevated.

RESULTS:

Eight of 26 patients (31%) with both bacterial (n = 4) and viral (n = 4) neuroinfections had a complicated disease course. All of them but only 3/18 patients (17%) with an uncomplicated disease course had CSF CXCL13 elevations > 250 pg/ml at the follow-up LP (p < 0.001). At admission, 4/8 patients (50%) with a complicated disease course and 3/18 patients (17%) with an uncomplicated disease course showed CXCL13 elevations > 250 pg/ml. All four patients with a complicated disease course but only one with an uncomplicated disease course had sustained CXCL13 elevations at follow-up. Patient groups did not differ with regard to age, time since symptom onset, LP intervals, type of infections, and anti-pathogen treatments.

CONCLUSION:

Our study revealed pronounced CXCL13 elevations in CSF of patients with severe disease courses of bacterial and viral neuroinfections. This observation indicates a role of CXCL13 in the CNS immune defense and points at an additional diagnostic value as biomarker for unresolved immune processes leading to or associated with complications.