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Latent tuberculosis is associated with heightened levels of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines among Kenyan men and women living with HIV on long-term antiretroviral therapy.
Temu TM, Polyak SJ, Wanjalla CN, Mandela NA, Dabee S, Mogaka JN, Masyuko S, Longernecker C, Shakil S, Chohan B, Page ST, Lacourse SM, Gitura B, Crothers K, Oyugi J, Jaspan H, Farquhar C, Zifodya JS. Latent tuberculosis is associated with heightened levels of pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines among Kenyan men and women living with HIV on long-term antiretroviral therapy. AIDS (London, England). 2023 Jun 1; 37(7):1065-1075.
Persons with HIV (PWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) have persistent immune activation associated with increased risk for non-AIDS related diseases. Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), endemic in Africa, may contribute to this immune dysregulation. We evaluated the impact of HIV and TB co-infection on plasma pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines among Kenyan adults.
We compared data from 221 PWH on long-term ART and 177 HIV-negative adults examining biomarkers of pro-[sCD14, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, interferon gamma (IFN-?), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), IL-12p70, IL-17A] and anti(IL-4, IL-5, IL-13) inflammatory cytokines, by HIV/LTBI status (HIV+LTBI+, HIV+LTBI-, HIV-LTBI+, HIV-LTBI-). LTBI was diagnosed based on a positive QuantiFERON TB Gold-Plus test in the absence of active TB symptoms. Linear regression was used to evaluate the associations of HIV, LTBI, and HIV/LTBI status with biomarkers adjusting for clinical factors including HIV-specific factors.
Half of the participants were women and 52% had LTBI. HIV was independently associated with higher sCD14, IL-15, IL-6, IL-4, IL-5. LTBI was independently associated with higher TNF-a, IL-12p70, IL-17A, IL-4, IL-13 in adjusted models ( P ? < 0.05). LTBI status was associated with higher IL-4 and IL-12p70 only among PWH, but not HIV-negative participants ( P ? < 0.05 for interactions). In multivariate analysis, only HIV+LTBI+ demonstrated elevated levels of TNF-a, IL-6, IL-12p70, IL-15, IL-17A, IL4, IL-5, IL-13 in comparison to the HIV-LTBI- ( P ? < 0.05 for all). The effect of LTBI on cytokines among PWH was independent of CD4 + T-cell count and ART duration.
Despite viral suppression, persons with HIV and LTBI exhibit abnormal cytokine production accompanied by high concentrations of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.