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Infectious Diseases - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology

Can Interferon-Gamma or Interferon-Gamma-Induced-Protein-10 Differentiate Tuberculosis Infection and Disease in Children of High Endemic Areas?
Published: Friday, September 23, 2011
Author: Mohammed Ahmed Yassin et al.

by Mohammed Ahmed Yassin, Roberta Petrucci, Kefyalew Taye Garie, Gregory Harper, Isabel Arbide, Melkamsew Aschalew, Yared Merid, Zelalem Kebede, Amin Ahmed Bawazir, Nabil Mohamed Abuamer, Luis Eduardo Cuevas


Diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis (TB) is difficult in high TB burden settings. Interferon-gamma-induced protein 10 (IP10) has been suggested as a marker of TB infection and disease, but its ability to differentiate the two conditions remains uncertain.


To describe Interferon-gamma (INF?) and IP10 expression in children with TB infection and disease and controls to assess their potential to differentiate latent and active TB.


This was a cross sectional study of 322 1–15 years old children with symptoms of TB (28 confirmed, 136 probable and 131 unlikely TB), 335 children in contact with adults with pulmonary TB and 156 community controls in Southern Ethiopia. The Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and Quantiferon-In-Tube (QFT-IT) were performed. INF? and IP10 were measured in plasma supernatants.

Results and Interpretation

Children with confirmed and probable TB and contacts were more likely to have TST+ (78.6%, 59.3% and 54.1%, respectively) than children with unlikely TB (28.7%) and controls (12.8%) (p<0.001). Children with confirmed TB (59.3%) and contacts (44.7%) were more likely to have INF?+ than children with probable (37.6%) or unlikely TB (28.1%) and controls (13.1%) (p<0.001). IP10 concentrations were higher in INF?+ children independently of TST (p<0.001). There was no difference between IP10 concentrations of children with confirmed TB and contacts (p?=?0.8) and children with and without HIV (p>0.1).INF? and IP10 can identify children with TB infection and disease, but cannot differentiate between the two conditions. HIV status did not affect the expression of IP10.