Prophylactic vaccinations may sometimes shorten the incubation period of some illnesses and/or convert a latent infection/inflammation into a clinically apparent disease. Cytokines play a major role in mediating the inflammatory process in various clinical entities and represent a potential source of tissue damage if their production is not sufficiently well controlled. It seems that irregularities in production of proinflammatory cytokines may be responsible for the abnormalities associated with full-blown clinical symptoms of various urinary tract diseases observed after DTP vaccination in 13 infants and young children hospitalized over the past 24 years. On admission, upper respiratory tract diseases, atopic dermatitis, and/or latent urinary tract infection/inflammation were found in these children. It is suggested that the whole-cell pertussis present in DTP vaccine, acting as an excessive stimulus in these patients, produced symptoms reminiscent of biologic responses to circulating proinflammatory monokines such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 because earlier it was reported that in vitro the whole-cell vaccine induced significantly more such cytokine production than did the acellular pertussis or diphtheria-tetanus-only vaccine. Analysis of the cellular immune disturbances previously reported in urinary tract infection/inflammation (increased serum and/or urinary IL-1α, IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-6 and IL-8), steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (increased IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and decreased or increased IL-4, depending on the cells studied), and atopic dermatitis (decreased IFN-γ and increased IL-4 production), may suggest that similar subclinical chronic cytokine-mediated abnormalities produced in the course of latent diseases revealed in our patients, combined with those caused by DTP vaccination stimulus, were responsible for the pathomechanism of these clinical entities. This speculation is in agreement with the reports on the long-lasting induction of cytokine release and down-regulation of hepatic cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme activities after administration of DTP vaccine to mice and may be supported by the fact that TH1 phenotype is associated with the up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and RANTES, whereas TH2 phenotype is associated with the up-regulation of the vascular cell adhesion molecule and P-selectin, which are key players in the migration into inflamed tissues and localization of lymphocytes and other allergic effector and inflammatory cells. Because several inflammatory cytokines down-regulate gene expression of major cytochrome P-450 and/or other enzymes with the specific effects on mRNA levels, protein expression, and enzyme activity, thus affecting the metabolism of several endogenous lipophilic substances such as steroids, lipid-soluble vitamins, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, and exogenous substances, their irregularities in the body may eventually lead to the flare of latent diseases in some predisposed subjects. Also, interleukin genetic polymorphisms, especially the constellation of TNF-α and IL-6 genetic variants, might predispose some infants with infection to a more than usually intense inflammatory response in the kidneys after vaccination. It seems that the aforementioned pathomechanism may also be responsible for some cases of sudden infant death syndrome, which is often preceded by infection/inflammation.