Identification of immune biomarkers in recent active pulmonary tuberculosis

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Tuberculosis (TB) has remained an unsolved problem and a major public health issue, particularly in developing countries. Pakistan is one of the countries with the highest tuberculosis infection rates globally. However, methods or biomarkers to detect early signs of TB infection are limited. Here, we characterized the mRNA profiles of immune responses in unstimulated Peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from treatment naïve patients with early signs of active pulmonary tuberculosis without previous history of clinical TB. We identified a unique mRNA profile in active TB compared to uninfected controls, including cytokines such as IL-27, IL-15, IL-2RA, IL-24, and TGFβ, transcription factors such as STAT1 and NFATC1 and immune markers/receptors such as TLR4, IRF1, CD80, CD28, and PTGDR2 from an overall 84 different transcripts analyzed. Among 12 significant differentially expressed transcripts, we identified five gene signatures which included three upregulated IL-27, STAT1, TLR4 and two downregulated IL-24 and CD80 that best discriminate between active pulmonary TB and uninfected controls with AUC ranging from 0.9 to 1. Our data identified a molecular immune signature associated with the early stages of active pulmonary tuberculosis and it could be further investigated as a potential biomarker of pulmonary TB


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Scientific Reports