Antigen-specific cytokine and chemokine gene expression for diagnosing latent and active tuberculosis

Workneh Korma, Adane Mihret, Yunhee Chang, Azeb Tarekegn, Metasebiya Tegegn, Adem Tuha, Dasom Hwang, Mesfin Asefa, Mahlet O. Hasen, Seoyoung Kim, Tesfaye S. Tesema, Hyeyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis infection exhibits different forms, namely, pulmonary, extrapulmonary, and latent. Here, diagnostic markers based on the gene expression of cytokines and chemokines for differentiating between tuberculosis infection state(s) were identified. Gene expression of seven cytokines (Interferon gamma (IFN-γ), Interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), Interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R), C-X-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 9 (CXCL-9), Interleukin 10 (IL-10), Interleukin 4 (IL-4), and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α)) in response to tuberculosis antigen was analyzed using real-time polymerase reaction. The sensitivity and specificity of relative quantification (2^-ΔΔCt) of mRNA expression were analyzed by constructing receiver operating characteristic curves and measuring the area under the curve (AUC) values. Combinations of cytokines were analyzed using the R statistical software package. IFN-γ, IP-10, IL2R, and CXCL-9 showed high expression in latent and active tuberculosis patients (p = 0.001), with a decrease in IL10 expression, and no statistical difference in IL-4 levels among all the groups (p = 0.999). IL-10 differentiated pulmonary tuberculosis patients from latent cases with an AUC of 0.731. IL10 combined with CXCL-9 distinguished pulmonary tuberculosis patients from extrapulmonary cases with a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 85.7%, 73.9%, and 81.0%, respectively. IL-10 together with IP-10 and IL-4 differentiated pulmonary tuberculosis from latent cases with a sensitivity and specificity of 77.1% and 88.1%, respectively. Decision tree analysis demonstrated that IFN-γ IL-2R, and IL-4 can diagnose tuberculosis infection with a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 89.7%, 96.1%, and 92.7%, respectively. A combination of gene expression of cytokines and chemokines might serve as an effective marker to differentiate tuberculosis infection state(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article number716
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Antigen-specific cytokine and chemokine gene expression for diagnosing latent and active tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this