Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Tuberculosis

The immune response to tuberculosis infection in the setting of Helicobacter pylori and helminth infections

S. PERRYa1 c1, A. H. CHANGa1, L. SANCHEZa1, S. YANGa1, T. D. HAGGERTYa1 and J. PARSONNETa1

a1 Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

SUMMARY

We screened 176 healthy, adult (aged 18–55 years) US refugees from tuberculosis (TB)-endemic countries to evaluate whether cytokine responses to latent TB infection (LTBI) are modified in the setting of concurrent H. pylori and helminth infection. As measured by the Quantiferon-TB GOLD interferon-γ release assay, a total 38 (22%) subjects had LTBI, of which 28 (74%) also were H. pylori seropositive and/or helminth infected. Relative to ten subjects with LTBI only, 16 subjects with concurrent H. pylori infection had significantly elevated levels of IFN-γ, and nine subjects with both H. pylori and helminth infection had significantly elevated levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-13, and IL-5. H. pylori is associated with enhanced IFN-γ responses to TB, even in the setting of concurrent helminth infection. Efficacy of TB vaccines may vary with the co-existence of these three infections in the developing world.

(Received April 12 2012)

(Revised July 18 2012)

(Accepted July 27 2012)

(Online publication September 07 2012)

Key words

  • Helicobacter pylori ;
  • helminths;
  • immunology;
  • principal components analysis;
  • tuberculosis infection

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: S. Perry, Ph.D., Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA, USA. (Email: shnperry@stanford.edu)

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