Cytokine expression in patients (n = 64) with acute hantavirus infection during the early phase of disease (average 6 days after onset of symptoms) versus healthy controls (n = 39). The line in the middle of each box represents the median. The lower and the upper edges of the box are the 1st and 3rd quartile, respectively. There was a significant increase of IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, TGF-β1 and TNF-α during early acute hantavirus infection versus healthy controls. To exclude accumulation of cytokines due to impairment of renal excretion function during the early phase of acute disease, cytokine/creatinine ratios from the respective serum creatinine of every sample were calculated. Significant boxplots (p < 0.05) are marked with *.