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Previous study & Fig.4.

Posted by Olaf_Rotzschke on 01 Sep 2011 at 05:26 GMT

Dear colleagues,

I appreciate your work on chicungunya infection. It is in fact one of the emerging diseases that clearly deserves more attention in the field. I like to make to comments though:

Firstly, I want to point out that a prior study with almost identical design has been published early this year (Chow et al., J Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 15;203(2):149-57). The study produced in part very similar results but had not been mentioned in this paper.

Secondly, I'm having some problem in interpreting Fig. 4. Serum levels of IL-2 and IL-4 are usually so low that they are very hard to detect by luminex (evident also in the very low median < 5pg/ml for healthy control; see PLoS ONE 3(7): e2535). Thus, to conclude from the absence of any positive signal that they are not associated with the viral infection just appears to me not substantiated by the data.
Even more confusing is the statement regarding the role of IL-8 in this context. In contrast, to IL-2 and IL-4 this chemokine can be easily detected in all the patients. In fact, in Fig. 4 the values of IL8 for all patient groups are clearly way above the dotted line representing the median of the healthy control. So, does the line really reflect the median control and, if this is the case, why is IL-8 then declared not to be associated with infection??

Curious on your reply!

No competing interests declared.

RE: Previous study & Fig.4.

AKelvin replied to Olaf_Rotzschke on 01 Sep 2011 at 14:30 GMT

Dear Dr. Rotzschke,

Thank you very much for your comments. They are very much appreciated.

I agree that the Chow study is very excellent and perhaps should have been included. The reason it was not included was that the paper was in the final stages of revisions at the time of the Chow publication.

As for your interest in Fig 4. Our experiments were not run by Illuminex but by CBA. It is true that the values are low but the conclusion is that the data does not support a role in resolution. It is possible that further investigation may a potential role but here there was not a statistical trend seen in relation to resolution. It is mentioned that the values are statistically different that the control group. Perhaps a conclusion can be made in light of these statistical differences but in this report, the conclusion were based on the significant trends.

Thank you again for your comments. Please contact me further with any other questions or discussions.


Alyson Kelvin

No competing interests declared.