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The immune response to tuberculosis infection in the setting of Helicobacter pylori and helminth infections

  • S. PERRY (a1), A. H. CHANG (a1), L. SANCHEZ (a1), S. YANG (a1), T. D. HAGGERTY (a1) and J. PARSONNET (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 07 September 2012

We screened 176 healthy, adult (aged 18–55 years) US refugees from tuberculosis (TB)-endemic countries to evaluate whether cytokine responses to latent TB infection (LTBI) are modified in the setting of concurrent H. pylori and helminth infection. As measured by the Quantiferon-TB GOLD interferon-γ release assay, a total 38 (22%) subjects had LTBI, of which 28 (74%) also were H. pylori seropositive and/or helminth infected. Relative to ten subjects with LTBI only, 16 subjects with concurrent H. pylori infection had significantly elevated levels of IFN-γ, and nine subjects with both H. pylori and helminth infection had significantly elevated levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-13, and IL-5. H. pylori is associated with enhanced IFN-γ responses to TB, even in the setting of concurrent helminth infection. Efficacy of TB vaccines may vary with the co-existence of these three infections in the developing world.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: S. Perry, Ph.D., Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA, USA. (Email:
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