Waning of the specific interferon-gamma response after years of tuberculosis infection
Abstract:HYPOTHESIS: Memory T-cell responses to specific antigens wane over time in subjects with tuberculosis (TB) infection.
SETTING: Accumulated evidence indicates that QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT-G), a specific whole-blood interferon-gamma (IFN-) based assay, can detect recent TB infections with superior sensitivity and specificity.
OBJECTIVE: We applied this technique to the adult population of a Japanese community to determine its epidemiological usefulness.
METHOD: A total of 1559 subjects attending periodic health screening volunteered to participate in the study.
RESULTS: The QFT-G positive rates were 3.1% for those aged 40–49 years, 5.9% for those aged 50–59 and 9.8% for those aged 60–69. The expected infection prevalence estimated by the authors from a series of studies was 11.1%, 29.6% and 53.1% for those aged 40–49, 50–59 and 60–69 years, respectively. This wide gap between the expected and observed positivity suggests that the IFN- response waned substantially with time after infection. Those with X-rays suggestive of old TB lesions exhibited positivity rates well below 100%.
CONCLUSION: The specific IFN- response may wane considerably with time after infection. Longitudinal studies are required to investigate long-term dynamics of cell-mediated immunity in infected donors.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Tokyo, Japan; Leprosy Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan 2: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Tokyo, Japan 3: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Tokyo, Japan; Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences, Kitasato University, Tokyo, Japan
Publication date: 2007-09-01
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