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Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy And Critical Care Medicine

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Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Biological Factors | Diagnosis | Pulmonology | Respiratory Tract Diseases


Plasma cytokines are biomarkers of disease extent and mycobacterial burden in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Whether chemokines can perform the same role in PTB is not known. We examined the plasma levels of chemokines in individuals with PTB, latent TB (LTB) or healthy controls (HC) and their association with disease severity and mycobacterial burdens in PTB. We also examined the chemokines in PTB individuals at the end of anti-tuberculous chemotherapy (ATT). PTB individuals exhibited significantly higher levels of CCL1, CCL3, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL9 and CXCL10 in comparison to LTB and/or HC individuals. PTB individuals with bilateral or cavitary disease displayed significantly elevated levels of CCL1, CCL3, CXCL1, CXCL10 and CXCL11 compared to those with unilateral or non-cavitary disease and also exhibited a significant positive relationship with bacterial burdens. In addition, PTB individuals with slower culture conversion displayed significantly elevated levels of CCL1, CCL3, CXCL1 and CXCL9 at the time of PTB diagnosis and prior to ATT. Finally, the chemokines were significantly reduced following successful ATT. Our data demonstrate that PTB is associated with elevated levels of chemokines, which are partially reversed followed chemotherapy. Our data demonstrate that chemokines are markers of disease severity, predicting increased bacterial burden and delayed culture conversion in PTB.


Infection, Predictive markers, Tuberculosis

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DOI of Published Version



Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 3;9(1):18217. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54803-w. Link to article on publisher's site

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Scientific reports

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.