Fever and sickness behavior: Friend or foe?

  title={Fever and sickness behavior: Friend or foe?},
  author={Lois May Harden and Simon Kent and Quentin J. Pittman and Joachim Roth},
  journal={Brain, Behavior, and Immunity},

Sickness behavior in feverish children is independent of the severity of fever. An observational, multicenter study

It is suggested that sickness behavior (SB) and fever are two independent manifestations that are activated simultaneously during an infection.

Let fever do its job

For infections with novel SARS-CoV-2, the precautionary principle applies: unless evidence suggests otherwise, that fever should be allowed to run its course, and the benefits of allowing fever to occur probably outweigh its harms.

Inflammation, fever, and body temperature under febrile conditions

Fever and other characteristic symptoms of sickness occur as rather stereotyped physiological and behavioral responses that are controlled by specific neuronal circuitries within the brain, and induction of these symptoms depends on a propagation of the inflammatory response from the periphery into the brain.

Fever as an important resource for infectious diseases research.

Evidence is presented that the temperature increase during fever affects the way the infection takes place, for both the pathogen and the host.

Reverse Engineering the Febrile System

It is shown that natural selection appears to have modified several immune system effects to be coordinated by fever, and it is argued that there are some adaptations that coordinate the febrile system with other important fitness components, particularly growth and reproduction.

Fever and antipyretic therapy in the septic patient in the intensive care unit: an update

  • A. DonosoD. Arriaga
  • Medicine, Biology
    Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México (English Edition)
  • 2019
Fever is a very common sign to observe in critically ill children during their intensive care unit stay and antipyretic therapy is commonly employed and human studies on the presence of fever and its treatment for the prognosis of critically ill septic patients are inconclusive.

Neural Mechanisms of Inflammation-Induced Fever

  • A. BlomqvistD. Engblom
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
  • 2018
It is concluded that there is unequivocal evidence for a humoral signaling pathway by which proinflammatory cytokines, through their binding to receptors on brain endothelial cells, evoke fever by eliciting prostaglandin E2 synthesis in these cells.

Fevers and the social costs of acute infection in wild vervet monkeys

A hidden cost of sociality is demonstrated: Febrile animals were twice as likely to receive aggression from their group mates and were six times more likely to be wounded following the onset of a fever, suggesting social transmission of infection within a group is likely.

Early life inflammation — it sticks to the brain




Cytokine‐Induced Sickness Behavior: Mechanisms and Implications

  • R. Dantzer
  • Biology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2001
There is evidence that the sickness motivational state can interact with other motivational states and respond to nonimmune stimuli probably by way of sensitization and/or classical conditioning, however, the mechanisms that are involved in plasticity of the Sickness motivational state are not yet understood.

Concepts of fever.

The present review considers many of these issues in the light of current data concerning the role played by exogenous and endogenous pyrogens in the induction of fever and the existence of an equally complex and important system of endogenous cryogens.

Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza

  • R. Eccles
  • Medicine
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases
  • 2005

Mechanisms of fever production and lysis: lessons from experimental LPS fever.

During the course of fever, counterinflammatory factors, "endogenous antipyretics," are elaborated peripherally and centrally to limit fever in strength and duration.

Fever and hypothermia in systemic inflammation: recent discoveries and revisions.

It has been established that the same inflammatory agent can induce either fever or hypothermia, depending on several factors, and that different mechanisms underlie different febrile phases.

The adaptive value of fever.

Clinical review: Fever in septic ICU patients - friend or foe?

The advantages and drawbacks of fever in septic patients are delineated and the treatment of fever by pharmacological and/or physical means is discussed with regards to their drawbacks, which argues for their careful use in sepsis patients in the absence of clinical relevance.

Prostaglandins and sickness behavior: Old story, new insights

Population-level effects of suppressing fever

It is suggested that, overall, fever suppression increases the expected number of influenza cases and deaths in the US: for pandemic influenza with reproduction number , the estimated increase is 1% (95% CI: 0.0–2.7%), whereas for seasonal influenza with , the Estimated increase is 5% ( 95% CI): 0.2–12.1%).