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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Impact of HIV co-infection on plasma level of cytokines and chemokines of pulmonary tuberculosis patients

Adane Mihret123*, Markos Abebe1, Yonas Bekele1, Abraham Aseffa1, Gerhard Walzl3 and Rawleigh Howe1

Author Affiliations

1 Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa Univrsity, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research and MRC Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, PO Box 19063, Francie van Zijl Drive, Tygerberg, 7505, South Africa

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:125  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-125

Published: 4 March 2014

Abstract

Background

The immunologic environment during HIV/M. tuberculosis co-infection is characterized by cytokine and chemokine irregularities that have been shown to increase immune activation, viral replication, and T cell dysfunction.

Methods

We analysed ex vivo plasma samples from 17 HIV negative and 16 HIV pulmonary tuberculosis co infected cases using Luminex assay to see impact of HIV co-infection on plasma level of cytokines and chemokines of pulmonary tuberculosis patients before and after anti Tuberculosis treatment.

Results

The median plasma level of IFN-γ, IL-4, MCP-3, MIP-1β and IP-10 was significantly different (P < 0.05) before and after treatment in HIV negative TB patients but not in HIV positive TB patients. There was no significant difference between HIV positive and HIV negative TB patients (P > 0.05) in the plasma level of any of the cytokines or chemokines before treatment and anti TB treatment did not change the level of any of the measured cytokines in HIV positive tuberculosis patients. The ratio of IFN-γ/IL-10 and IFN-γ/IL-4 showed a significant increase after treatment in HIV negative TB cases but not in HIV positive TB cases which might indicate prolonged impairment of immune response to TB in HIV positive TB patients as compared to HIV negative tuberculosis patients.

Conclusions

HIV positive and HIV negative Tuberculosis patients display similar plasma cytokine and chemokine pattern. However, anti TB treatment significantly improves the Th1 cytokines and level of chemokines but does not restore the immune response in HIV positive individuals.

Keywords:
Pulmonary tuberculosis; HIV; Cytokines and chemokines