Monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 increases in the serum of immunocompetent patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). However, the correlation between the circulating level of MCP-1 and severity of CAP remains unclear. This study investigated differential changes in the plasma MCP-1 levels of patients with CAP before and after an antibiotic treatment and further analyzes the association between the CAP severity and MCP-1 levels. We measured the plasma MCP-1 levels of 137 patients with CAP and 74 healthy controls by using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Upon initial hospitalization, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II); confusion, urea level, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and age of >64 years (CURB-65); and pneumonia severity index (PSI) scores were determined for assessing the CAP severity in these patients. The antibiotic treatment reduced the number of white blood cells (WBCs) and neutrophils as well as the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) and MCP-1. The plasma MCP-1 level, but not the CRP level or WBC count, correlated with the CAP severity according to the PSI (r = 0.509, p <0.001), CURB-65 (r = 0.468, p <0.001), and APACHE II (r = 0.360, p <0.001) scores. We concluded that MCP-1 levels act in the development of CAP and are involved in the severity of CAP.
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