Cytokine responses and progression to active tuberculosis in HIV-1-infected Ugandans: a prospective study.
Elliott AM., Hodsdon WS., Kyosiimire J., Quigley MA., Nakiyingi JS., Namujju PB., Watera C., French N., Gilks CF., Dockrell HM., Whitworth JAG.
Identifying correlates of immunity or susceptibility to disease promotes understanding of pathogenesis and development of diagnostic tools, treatments, and vaccines. There is evidence that type 1 cytokine responses are associated with protection against tuberculosis, and suppression of type 1, or switching to type 2 responses, with susceptibility, but this has not been studied prospectively. We studied a cohort of 631 HIV-1-infected Ugandan adults. At enrollment we performed whole blood cultures for type 1 (interferon [IFN]-gamma, interleukin [IL]-2) and type 2/immunosuppressive (IL-5, IL-10) responses to mycobacterial antigens (purified protein derivative [PPD] and culture filtrate proteins [CFP]). The incidence of tuberculosis was not associated with IFN-gamma responses, but was higher among participants with IL-2 responses (adjusted rate ratios [RR]: PPD 3.48; CFP 3.99; P < 0.001). For tuberculin skin test-positive participants, high incidence was also associated with an IL-10 response to PPD (adjusted RR 6.24, P = 0.03); for those with a BCG scar, high incidence was associated with positive IL-5 responses (adjusted RRs: PPD 3.64, P = 0.006; CFP 3.44, P = 0.04). The association with IL-2 production may reflect a response to tuberculous infection or to activating disease; the associations with IL-10 and IL-5 are in keeping with the expected role of immunosuppressive or type 2 cytokines.