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Infect Immun. 1994 Dec;62(12):5673-8.

Immune responsiveness and lymphokine production in patients with tuberculosis and healthy controls.

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Laboratorio Central de Investigaciones, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.


The aim of the present study was to determine the profile of immune responsiveness that differentiates patients with tuberculosis (TB) from healthy tuberculin-positive controls. Forty-five patients with pulmonary TB and 16 healthy tuberculin-positive controls, all human immunodeficiency virus negative, were studied. Patients had decreased reactivity to tuberculin, diminished proliferative response to purified protein derivative (PPD), lower concentrations of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon in PPD-stimulated cultures, no increase in the percentage of gamma/delta cells in PPD-stimulated cultures, and higher immunoglobulin G antimycobacterial antibodies compared with control subjects. Furthermore, controls exhibited decreased production of IL-4 by PPD-stimulated cells. Multivariate discriminant and factor analyses demonstrated divergent patterns of immune reactivity against mycobacterial antigens. The association of IL-4 and immunoglobulin G antibody levels in patients, in contrast to the high reactivity to tuberculin, increased proliferation to PPD, and higher levels of IL-2 and gamma interferon observed in healthy controls suggested that most TB patients exhibit a TH2 pattern of immune responsiveness while tuberculin-positive healthy individuals have a TH1 pattern.

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