Detection of anti-interferon-gamma autoantibodies in subjects infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Abstract:Setting: Among the cytokines involved in defensive mechanisms against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, special attention has been given to interferon-gamma (IFN-γ); a local synthesis of this cytokine as well as IL-2 (type 1 cytokines) at the site of disease in patients with tuberculous pleuritis has been demonstrated. Moreover, high levels of IgG autoantibodies against IFN-γ have been shown in several clinical situations. It has been suggested that these antibodies could serve to limit the intensity or duration of the immune response or be able to interfere with the pathophysiological effects of IFN-γ.
Objective: To investigate the potential role of anti-IFN-γ antibodies in the course of M. tuberculosis infection.
Design: Investigation of the presence of these antibodies in sera from healthy and ill subjects infected with M. tuberculosis in relation to the extent of the disease and the presence of IFN-γ in sera by enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In order to investigate the presence of these antibodies at the site of infection we included 12 pleural fluids from tuberculosis patients and 9 pleural fluids from other origins.
Results: In the course of M. tuberculosis infection the production of anti-IFN-γ IgG antibodies is induced, being particularly higher in healthy skin test converters. Among tuberculosis patients, the presence of anti-IFN-γ autoantibodies is significantly associated with detectable levels of the cytokine in sera. Levels of anti-IFN-γ antibodies in moderately advanced and far advanced tuberculosis patients are significantly greater than in healthy individuals. These antibodies increase at the site of infection.
Conclusion: Anti-IFN-γ antibodies must be considered as a new element in the immune response to M. tuberculosis. It would be of great interest to investigate this point especially at the site of infection.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Basque Country University School of Medicine, Bilbao, Spain 2: Hospital of Santamarina, Vizcaya, Spain 3: Microbiology Service, Hospital of Basurto, Bilbao, Spain 4: Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Basque Country University School of Medicine, Bilbao, Spain; and Microbiology Service, Hospital of Basurto, Bilbao, Spain
Publication date: 1998-01-01
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