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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Apr;86(4):690-7. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0553.

Innate and adaptive immune responses during acute M. tuberculosis infection in adult household contacts in Kampala, Uganda.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, USA. csmahan@gmail.com


Contacts of active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients are at risk for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. Because most infections are controlled, studies during MTB infection provide insight into protective immunity. We compared immune responses of adult household contacts that did and did not convert the tuberculin skin test (TST). Innate and adaptive immune responses were measured by whole blood assay. Responses of TST converters (TSTC) were compared with persistently TST negative contacts (PTST-) and contacts who were TST+ at baseline (TST+). TLR-2, TLR-4, and IFN-γR responses to IFN-γ did not differ between the groups, nor did γδ T cell responses. T cell responses to MTB antigens differed markedly among TSTC, PTST-, and TST+ contacts. Thus, no differences in innate responses were found among the three household contact groups. However, adaptive T cell responses to MTB antigens did differ before and during MTB infection among PTST-, TSTC, and TST+ contacts.

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