Interferon-gamma treatment kinetics among patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis
Introduction: Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is essential for defence against Mycobacterium tuberculosis; however, levels in patients with active tuberculosis (TB) and changes during treatment have not been documented in our tuberculosis patients in Nigeria, hence this study has been carried out. Objective: To determine variations, treatment kinetics, and predictive value of IFN-γ levels during treatment of active tuberculosis. Design: Patients with pulmonary tuberculosis were recruited and subsequently followed up for 3 months during treatment with anti-TB. Peripheral blood was collected for IFN-γ assays, C-reactive protein and others followed by a Mantoux test. IFN-γ levels produced by stimulation with TB antigens were determined by ELISA and repeated measurement of IFN-γ were done at 1 and 3 months of anti-TB therapy. Chi Associations and correlations between IFN-γ were determined. Regression analysis was done to determine association between serial IFN-γ and treatment outcome. Results: We recruited 47 patients with active tuberculosis with a mean age of 34.8 ± 3.6 years and M:F ratio of 1.12:1. Six (11%) were HIV positive. The mean level of IFN-γ induced by TB antigens was 629 ± 114.1 pg/ml, higher for HIV-negative PTB patients compared with HIV-positive PTB patients, 609.78 ± 723.9 pg/ml and 87.88 ± 130.0 pg/ml, respectively, P-value = 0.000. The mean level of IFN-γ induced by TB antigen increased significantly from 629 ± 114.1 pg/ml to 1023.46 + 222.8 pg/ml, P-value = 0.03 and reduced to 272.3 ± 87.7 pg/ml by the third month on anti-TB drugs, P-value = 0.001. Negative correlation was observed between the mean of baseline and chest X-ray involvement, P = 0.03. There was no significant correlation between sputum smear grade with baseline and follow-up IFN-γ levels. Three-month IFN-γ level among cured patients were higher than those with treatment failure, regression analysis showed that it does not predict outcome. Conclusion: IFN-γ may be useful in early detection and monitoring response; however, large scale studies are needed.
Keywords: Interferon-gamma, tuberculosis, treatment outcome