IFN-γ and IL-2 Responses to Recombinant AlaDH against ESAT-6/CFP-10 Fusion Antigens in the Diagnosis of Latent versus Active Tuberculosis Infection

Bahram Movahedi, Pooneh Mokarram, Mina Hemmati, Nader Mosavari, Razie Zare, Leila Safaee Ardekani, Zohreh Mostafavi-Pour


Background: Discriminating latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) from active TBI may be challenging. The objective of this study was to produce the recombinant L-alanine dehydrogenase (AlaDH) antigen and evaluate individuals with LTBI, those with active TBI, and uninfected individuals by enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISPOT) in order to distinguish LTBI from active TBI.
Methods: This exploratory study was performed in the Iranian city of Shiraz from 2014 to 2015. The study population (N=99) was divided into 3 groups: individuals with newly diagnosed active TBI (n=33), their household contacts (n=33), and controls (n=33). AlaDH was produced through PCR and cloning methods. The diagnostic characteristics of AlaDH vs. ESAT-6/CFP-10 were evaluated in responses to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) with ELISPOT. Differences between the groups were assessed with the Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests for nonparametric data analysis. The statistical analyses were performed with SPSS, version 16.
Results: IFN-γ responses to both ESAT-6/CFP-10 (P=0.81) and AlaDH (P=0.18) revealed that there were no significant differences between the individuals with LTBI and those with active TBI. The same results were determined for IL-2 responses to ESAT-6/CFP-10 between the 2 groups, while significantly higher IL-2 responses to AlaDH were observed in LTBI than in active TBI. According to the ROC curve analysis, a cutoff value of 275 SFC showed sensitivity of 75.8% and specificity of 78.8% for distinguishing LTBI from active TBI by IL-2 responses to AlaDH.
Conclusion: The current study suggests that it may be possible to discriminate LTBI from active TBI by IL-2 responses to AlaDH.


Enzyme-linked immunospot assay, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-2, Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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