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J Infect Dis. 1998 Sep;178(3):760-8.

Peptide-specific T cell response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: clinical spectrum, compartmentalization, and effect of chemotherapy.

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MRC Tuberculosis and Related Infections Unit, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


The T cell repertoire of 59 patients with untreated tuberculosis was compared with that of 46 bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated controls by assaying the proliferative responses to six permissively recognized peptides from the 16-, 19-, and 38-kDa molecules of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A trend from higher to lower reactivity following this order: vaccinated controls > lymph node disease > localized extrapulmonary > pulmonary > pleural was seen for 4 of the peptides (P < .03). The decreased response of blood lymphocytes from patients with pleural tuberculosis was partially accounted for by sequestration of peptide-responsive cells within the pleural fluid. Chemotherapy "reversed" the depressed proliferative responses of patients with pulmonary and pleural tuberculosis depending on the peptide origin, being greatest for peptides of 16 kDa, transient for those of 19 kDa, and least for those of 38 kDa. These data demonstrate antigen specificity in the decreased responsiveness of patients with tuberculosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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