Failure to control growth of mycobacteria in blood from children infected with human immunodeficiency virus and its relationship to T cell function

Gwen N. Tena, Douglas B. Young, Brian Eley, Howard Henderson, Mark P. Nicol, Mike Levin, Beate Kampman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mechanisms of protective immunity to tuberculosis remain poorly understood in humans. A whole-blood infection model that employs a luminescent readout was used to analyze the role of T cells in control of mycobacterial infection. Control of mycobacterial growth in blood from healthy tuberculin-positive individuals was shown to be mediated predominantly by CD4+ T cells. Comparison of age-matched cohorts of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected children from South Africa demonstrated an association between low CD4 cell counts, low interferon (IFN)-γ production, and impaired ability to regulate growth of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin in blood from HIV-infected children. Impaired control of infection was not reconstituted by the addition of exogenous IFN-γ. The whole-blood assay provides an important tool for monitoring and dissecting of human immune responses to mycobacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1544-1551
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume187
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2003
Externally publishedYes

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