Relationship of plasma cell-free DNA level with mortality and prognosis in patients with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
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Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral infection. Circulating plasma cell-free DNA (pcf-DNA) is a novel marker indicating cellular damage. So far, the role of pcf-DNA did not investigate in CCHF patients. In the current study, pcf-DNA levels were investigated in CCHF patients with different clinical severity grades to explore the relationship between circulating pcf-DNA level, virus load, and disease severity. Seventy-two patients were categorized as mild, intermediate, and severe based on severity grading scores. The pcf-DNA level was obtained from all participants on admission and from the survivors on the day of the discharge. The controls consisted of 31 healthy. Although the pcf-DNA level at admission was higher in patients than in the controls, the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.291). However, at admission and in the convalescent period, the difference between pcf-DNA levels in mild, intermediate, and severe patient groups was significant. The pcf-DNA level in severe patients was higher than in the others. Furthermore, compared to survivors, non-survivors had higher pcf-DNA levels at admission (P=0.001). A direct relationship was found between the pcf-DNA level and the viral load on the day of discharge in surviving patients. ROC curve analysis identified a pcf-DNA level of 0.42 as the optimal cut-off for prediction of mortality. The positive predictive value, negative predictive value, specificity, and sensitivity for predicting mortality was 100%, 72%, 100%, and 79%, respectively. In summary, our findings revealed that pcf-DNA levels may be used as a biomarker in predicting CHHF prognosis. J. Med. Virol. 88:1152-1158, 2016. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.