Interferon-gamma responses to ESAT-6 in tuberculosis patients early into and after anti-tuberculosis treatment
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To investigate T-cell responses to ESAT-6 by an interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) ex vivo enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay in tuberculosis (TB) patients early during treatment and in patients who have completed a course of anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy.
DESIGN: T-cell responses following overnight stimulation with 6-kD early secretory antigenic target (ESAT-6) antigen were compared to responses obtained using cells cultured with ESAT-6 for 6 days, using an ELISpot assay.
RESULTS: In the ex vivo ELISpot assay, the median IFN-γ responses in TB patients, irrespective of treatment status, were significantly higher than in healthy BCG-vaccinated controls. In the 6-day ELISpot assay, median IFN-γ responses were significantly higher in TB patients who had completed treatment than in patients early during therapy. There was considerable individual variability in the degree of expansion of ESAT-6 specific T-cells from day 1 to day 6 in both treatment groups.
CONCLUSION: Further studies are required to assess which type of assay provides the best indicator of a memory T-cell response and how ESAT-6 specific T-cells relate to protective immunity in TB infection.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Immunology Unit, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom 2: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Homerton Hospital, London, United Kingdom 3: TB Research Group, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone, Surrey, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2005-09-01
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