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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2013 Mar;93(2):155-66. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Functional profile of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in latently infected individuals and patients with active TB.

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Grupo de Inmunología Celular e Inmunogenética, Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas and Sede de Investigación Universitaria (SIU), Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.


Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most important infectious diseases around the world. Several studies have focused on the identification of correlates of protection against TB. Most of them have concentrated on the study of IFN-γ due to its robust association with protection against TB. However, given the complexity of the immune response elicited after Mtb infection, other cytokines should also be considered. In the present study, we evaluated Th1 and Th17 responses and their association with the protection or development of active disease. Therefore, non infected individuals (nonTBi), latently infected individuals (LTBi) and patients with active TB (ATB) were studied. The evaluation of the number of cytokine producing cells by ELISPOT showed a higher number of IFN-γ-producing cells in ATB patients, but no differences were found regarding the number of IL-17 producing cells among studied groups. The evaluation of IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α and IL-17 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at 1 day and 6 days of stimulation with mycobacterial antigens suggests the presence of functional signatures associated with latency or active TB. The results presented herein suggest the possible use of the evaluation of Th1-type cytokines, such as IFN-γ and/or TNF-α, as a correlate of protection against TB; however, these results need to be validated for other groups.

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