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Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:854507. doi: 10.1155/2015/854507. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Th1 and Th17 Cells in Tuberculosis: Protection, Pathology, and Biomarkers.

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Immunology Department, Central Tuberculosis Research Institute, Yauza Alley 2, Moscow 107564, Russia.


The outcome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection ranges from a complete pathogen clearance through asymptomatic latent infection (LTBI) to active tuberculosis (TB) disease. It is now understood that LTBI and active TB represent a continuous spectrum of states with different degrees of pathogen "activity," host pathology, and immune reactivity. Therefore, it is important to differentiate LTBI and active TB and identify active TB stages. CD4(+) T cells play critical role during Mtb infection by mediating protection, contributing to inflammation, and regulating immune response. Th1 and Th17 cells are the main effector CD4(+) T cells during TB. Th1 cells have been shown to contribute to TB protection by secreting IFN-γ and activating antimycobacterial action in macrophages. Th17 induce neutrophilic inflammation, mediate tissue damage, and thus have been implicated in TB pathology. In recent years new findings have accumulated that alter our view on the role of Th1 and Th17 cells during Mtb infection. This review discusses these new results and how they can be implemented for TB diagnosis and monitoring.

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