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Brief Research Report ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00296

Plasma type I IFN protein concentrations in human tuberculosis

  • 1Institut Pasteur, France
  • 2South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative SATVI, South Africa
  • 3Hôpital Cochin, France

Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, and a lack of understanding of basic disease pathogenesis is hampering development of new vaccines and treatments. Multiple studies have previously established a role for type I interferon (IFN) in TB disease. Type I IFNs are critical immune mediators for host responses to viral infection, yet their specific influence in bacterial infection remains unclear. As IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) can have both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on immune function, clarifying the role of type I interferon in TB remains an important question. The quantification of interferon proteins in the circulation of patients has been restricted until the recent development of digital ELISA. To test the hypothesis that patients with active TB disease have elevated circulating type I IFN we quantified plasma IFN and  proteins with Simoa digital ELISA in patients with active disease and asymptomatic M. tuberculosis infection. Strikingly no differences were observed between these two groups, while plasma from acute influenza infection revealed significantly higher plasma levels of both IFN and IFN proteins. These results suggest a discordance between ISG mRNA expression by blood leukocytes and circulating type I IFN in TB.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, interferon, protein biomarker, Cytokines, IFNa, IFNb

Received: 13 May 2019; Accepted: 31 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Eric Ghigo, IHU Mediterranee Infection, France

Reviewed by:

Jianping Xie, Southwest University, China
Virginia Pasquinelli, CITNOBA (CONICET-UNNOBA)  

Copyright: © 2019 Duffy, Llibre, Bilek, BONDET, Darboe, Mbandi, Penn-Nicholson, Hatherill, Rozenberg and Scriba. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Darragh Duffy, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France,