Certain cytokines are predictors of the recurrence of tuberculosis in patients with HIV who are on ART, according to researchers.
Recognizing the cytokines as biomarkers can be valuable in diagnosing TB in HIV patients, they wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“There is an urgent need for the identification and validation of TB diagnostic markers in HIV-positive individuals, as this is the key for timely patient management and for the development of new therapeutics and vaccines,” researcher Aida Sivro, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow with the Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), and colleagues wrote.
The researchers enrolled a subset of participants in the CAPRISA 005 TB Recurrence Upon Treatment with HAART study, conducted at the CAPRISA eThekwini clinic in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. That study’s aim was to measure the incidence of recurring TB among 402 patients on highly active ART. The patients were screened for TB once every 3 months for 4 years.
The subset enrolled by Sivro and colleagues included 63 patients with recurring TB (cases) and 123 with no evidence of recurring TB (controls) during follow-up. Peripheral blood and plasma samples were collected from the patients.
In those samples, the researchers measured the levels of 21 cytokines that they said are important in immune response.
They found that significantly higher plasma levels of interleukin 6 (adjusted OR = 4.79; 95% CI, 1.66-13.81), interleukin 1 beta (aOR = 3.41; 95% CI, 1.26-9.24) and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (aOR = 2.04; 95% CI, 1.04-3.98) were associated with an increased risk for recurrence of TB. Interferon beta was associated with a decreased risk for recurrence, they said (aOR = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.07-0.99).
“Because all HIV-infected individuals now qualify for ART, but ART does not completely ameliorate HIV-associated TB risk, the population for this study is important for defining TB risk factors,” they wrote. – by Joe Green
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.