Article Abstract

Post-treatment change in Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen-stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha release in patients with active tuberculosis

Authors: Chang Ho Kim, Seung Soo Yoo, Shin Yup Lee, Seung Ick Cha, Jae Yong Park, Jaehee Lee

Abstract

Background: Monitoring tuberculosis (TB) treatment response remains challenging due to lack of reliable laboratory markers. In recent years, increased efforts have been exerted toward development of new biomarkers reflecting treatment response appropriately. While performance of interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) to monitor anti-TB treatment has been extensively evaluated, there is no data about posttreatment changes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) antigen-stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) release in active TB patients. Herein, we explored whether the MTB antigen-stimulated TNF-α release would be useful for monitoring responses to anti-TB treatment.
Methods: We compared unstimulated (TNF-αNil), MTB antigen-stimulated (TNF-αAg), and MTB antigenstimulated minus unstimulated TNF-α levels (TNF-αAg-Nil) in supernatants from QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube tests before and after treatment in 16 active TB patients, 25 latent TB infection (LTBI) subjects, and 10 healthy controls (HC).
Results: TNF-αAg and TNF-αAg-Nil levels decreased significantly after treatment in patients with active TB. In addition, TNF-αNil, TNF-αAg, and TNF-αAg-Nil levels were significantly higher in untreated active TB patients compared to LTBI subjects and HC.
Conclusions: This finding cautiously suggests that MTB Ag-stimulated TNF-α response may be a potential adjunctive marker for monitoring treatment response in active TB patients.