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Modulation of the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis during malaria/M. tuberculosis co-infection

Chukwuanukwu, Rebecca C.; Onyenekwe, Charles C.; Martinez-Pomares, Luisa; Flynn, Robin J.; Singh, Sonali; Amilo, Grace I.; Agbakoba, Nneka R.; Okoye, Jude O.


Rebecca C. Chukwuanukwu

Charles C. Onyenekwe

Robin J. Flynn

Research Development Manager

Grace I. Amilo

Nneka R. Agbakoba

Jude O. Okoye


Tuberculosis (TB) causes significant morbidity and mortality on a global scale. The African region has 24% of the world's TB cases. TB overlaps with other infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV, which are also highly prevalent in the African region. TB is a leading cause of death among HIV-positive patients and co-infection with HIV and TB has been described as a syndemic. In view of the overlapping epidemiology of these diseases, it is important to understand the dynamics of the immune response to TB in the context of co-infection. We investigated the cytokine response to purified protein derivative (PPD) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from TB patients co-infected with HIV or malaria and compared it to that of malaria- and HIV-free TB patients. A total of 231 subjects were recruited for this study and classified into six groups; untreated TB-positive, TB positive subjects on TB drugs, TB- and HIV-positive, TB- and malaria-positive, latent TB and apparently healthy control subjects. Our results demonstrate maintenance of interferon (IFN)-? production in HIV and malaria co-infected TB patients in spite of lower CD4 counts in the HIV-infected cohort. Malaria co-infection caused an increase in the production of the T helper type 2 (Th2)-associated cytokine interleukin (IL)-4 and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in PPD-stimulated cultures. These results suggest that malaria co-infection diverts immune response against M. tuberculosis towards a Th-2/anti-inflammatory response which might have important consequences for disease progression.


Chukwuanukwu, R. C., Onyenekwe, C. C., Martinez-Pomares, L., Flynn, R. J., Singh, S., Amilo, G. I., …Okoye, J. O. (in press). Modulation of the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis during malaria/M. tuberculosis co-infection. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 187(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 21, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2016
Journal Clinical and Experimental Immunology
Print ISSN 0009-9104
Electronic ISSN 1365-2249
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 187
Issue 2
Keywords co-infection, cytokines, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis
Public URL
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