HIV -- Case studies, HIV -- Clinical trials
Approaches to screening for active tuberculosis (TB) among people living with HIV are inadequate, leading to missed diagnoses and poor implementation of preventive therapy.
Consecutive HIV-infected adults hospitalized at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda) between June 2011 and July 2013 with a cough ≥ 2 weeks were enrolled. Patients underwent extensive evaluation for pulmonary TB. Concentrations of 43 cytokines/chemokines were measured at the same time point as C-reactive protein (CRP) in banked plasma samples using commercially-available multiplex kits. Advanced classification algorithms were used to rank cytokines/chemokines for their ability to identify TB, and to model the specificity of the top-ranked cytokines/chemokines individually and in combination with sensitivity constrained to ≥ 90% as recommended for TB screening.
The median plasma level of 5 biomarkers (IL-6, INF-γ, MIG, CRP, IL-18) was significantly different between patients with and without TB. With sensitivity constrained to 90%, all had low specificity with IL-6 showing the highest specificity (44%; 95% CI 37.4–49.5). Biomarker panels were found to be more valuable than any biomarker alone. A panel combining IFN-γ and IL-6 had the highest specificity (50%; 95% CI 46.7–53.3). Sensitivity remained high (>85%) for all panels among sputum smear-negative TB patients.
Direct measurement of unstimulated plasma cytokines/chemokines in peripheral blood is a promising approach to TB screening. Cytokine/chemokine panels retained high sensitivity for smear-negative TB and achieved improved specificity compared to individual cytokines/chemokines. These markers should be further evaluated in outpatient settings where most TB screening occurs and where other illnesses associated with systematic inflammation are less common.
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Farr, K., Ravindran, R., Strnad, L., Chang, E., Chaisson, L. H., Yoon, C., ... & Byanyima, P. (2018). Diagnostic performance of blood inflammatory markers for tuberculosis screening in people living with HIV. PloS one, 13(10), e0206119.