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Eur Respir J. 2008 Dec;32(6):1607-15. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00055508. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Evaluating the potential of IP-10 and MCP-2 as biomarkers for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

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Dept of Infectious Diseases 144, Copenhagen University, Hvidovre Hospital, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of diagnostic tests based on interferon-gamma inducible protein (IP)-10 and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2, and compare the performance with the QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-IT; Cellestis, Carnagie, Australia) test. IP-10 and MCP-2 were determined in supernatants from whole blood stimulated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antigens. Samples were obtained from 80 patients with culture- and/or PCR-proven tuberculosis (TB), and 124 unexposed healthy controls: 86 high school students and 38 high school staff. IP-10 and MCP-2 test cut-offs were established based on receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. TB patients produced significantly higher levels (median) of IP-10 (2158 pg x mL(-1)) and MCP-2 (379 pg x mL(-1)) compared with interferon (IFN)-gamma (215 pg x mL(-1)). The QFT-IT, IP-10 and MCP-2 tests detected 81, 83 and 71% of the TB patients; 0, 3 and 0% of the high school students and 0, 16 and 3% of the staff, respectively. Agreement between tests was high (>89%). By combining IP-10 and IFN-gamma tests, the detection rate increased among TB patients to 90% without a significant increase in positive responders among the students. In conclusion, interferon-gamma inducible protein-10 and monocyte chemotactic protein-2 responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antigens could be used to diagnose infection. Combining interferon-gamma inducible protein-10 and interferon-gamma may be a simple approach to increase the detection rate of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific in vitro tests.

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