Impact of diabetes on mechanisms of immunity against mycobacterium tuberculosis

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by infection with mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a major source of morbidity and mortality in Pakistan. Diabetes caused by imbalance in glycaemic control is also highly prevalent in the country. The coincidence of both diseases results in worsening outcomes of TB, making treatment and management more difficult. Both innate and adaptive arms of the host immune response are required for protection against M. tuberculosis infection. Host immunity is modified in diabetes mellitus type 2 where key pathways such as, the T cell driven interferon-gamma responses to M. tuberculosis antigens and other T cell and macrophage activating cytokines are suppressed. This makes diabetes with TB a more severe disease and results in worse treatment outcomes. Effective coordination between T cells and host macrophages is required for control of TB infection. Therefore, early identification of diabetes and management of hyperglycaemia during TB treatment is essential for favourable outcomes.


JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association