Interferon (IFN)-γ release assays have limited sensitivity and cannot differentiate between active tuberculosis (TB) disease and latent TB infection (LTBI). Numerous cytokines and regulator factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis and control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Additional cytokines and chemokines associated with M. tuberculosis infection may improve the performance of IFN-γ release assays. We developed a real-time RT-PCR TaqMan assay for targeting levels of eight human targets [IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-2R, IL-4, IL-10, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11] and evaluated the assay with three different study groups. Results showed that the sensitivity of TNF-α, IL-2R, and CXCL10 in the active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) group was 96.43%, 96.43%, and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity of IL-2R and CXCL10 in the latent tuberculosis infection group was 86.36% and 81.82%, respectively. Statistical results showed that TNF-α and CXCL9 were the best individual markers for differentiating between the PTB, LTBI, and non-TB groups. For optimal sensitivity and differentiation of M. tuberculosis infection status, the simultaneous detection of multiple targets was attempted. The combination of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2R, and the combination of TNF-α, IL-2R, CXCL9, and CXCL10 showed the best performance for detecting active PTB (both 100% positivity) and LTBI (86.36% and 81.82% positivity, respectively). These results imply that the combination of suitable markers is useful in efficiently diagnosing TB and differentiating M. tuberculosis infection status.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Medicine