Immune Phenotype and Functionality of Mtb-Specific T-Cells in HIV/TB Co-Infected Patients on Antiretroviral Treatment.
ABSTRACT: The performance of host blood-based biomarkers for tuberculosis (TB) in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) has not been fully assessed. We evaluated the immune phenotype and functionality of antigen-specific T-cell responses in HIV positive (+) participants with TB (n = 12) compared to HIV negative (-) participants with either TB (n = 9) or latent TB infection (LTBI) (n = 9). We show that the cytokine profile of Mtb-specific CD4+ T-cells in participants with TB, regardless of HIV status, was predominantly single IFN-? or dual IFN-?/ TNF?. Whilst ESAT-6/CFP-10 responding T-cells were predominantly of an effector memory (CD27-CD45RA-CCR7-) profile, HIV-specific T-cells were mainly of a central (CD27+CD45RA-CCR7+) and transitional memory (CD27+CD45RA+/-CCR7-) phenotype on both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. Using receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, co-expression of CD38 and HLA-DR on ESAT-6/CFP-10 responding total cytokine-producing CD4+ T-cells had a high sensitivity for discriminating HIV+TB (100%, 95% CI 70-100) and HIV-TB (100%, 95% CI 70-100) from latent TB with high specificity (100%, 95% CI 68-100 for HIV-TB) at a cut-off value of 5% and 13%, respectively. TB treatment reduced the proportion of Mtb-specific total cytokine+CD38+HLA-DR+ CD4+ T-cells only in HIV-TB (p = 0.001). Our results suggest that co-expression of CD38 and HLA-DR on Mtb-specific CD4+ T-cells could serve as a TB diagnosis tool regardless of HIV status.
Project description:Abstract Objectives The development of non?sputum?based assays for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment monitoring is a key priority. Recent data indicate that whole blood?based assays to assess the phenotype of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)?specific CD4 T cells hold promise for this purpose and require further investigation in well?characterised TB cohorts. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the phenotypic signature of Mtb?specific CD4 responses, TB disease extent and treatment response. Methods Using flow cytometry, we measured the expression of phenotypic and functional markers (HLA?DR, CD27, CD153, KLRG1, IL?2, MIP?1?, TNF?? and IFN??) on Mtb?specific CD4 T?cells in whole blood from 161 participants of varying TB and HIV status. TB disease extent was graded as a continuum using the Xpertct value, C?reactive protein, Timika radiographic score and monocyte/lymphocyte ratio. Results The phenotypic profile of Mtb?specific CD4 T cells pre?anti?tubercular treatment (ATT) strongly correlated with disease extent, irrespective of HIV status. ATT associated with major changes in the phenotype of Mtb?specific CD4 T cells, with decreased expression of HLA?DR and increased CD27 and CD153 expression. Principal component analysis showed an almost complete separation between latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB (aTB) pre?ATT groups, whereas the profile of the aTB post?ATT group overlapped with the LTBI group. However, in patients experiencing treatment failure or relapse, no significant changes were observed in Mtb?specific CD4 T?cell phenotype pre? and post?ATT. Conclusion Whole blood?based assays of Mtb?specific CD4 T?cell activation and maturation markers can be used as non?sputum?based biomarkers of disease extent and treatment monitoring in TB, regardless of HIV?1 status. A better understanding of the relationship between host immune responses, tuberculosis (TB) disease severity and treatment outcome is key to the development of novel TB diagnostic and treatment monitoring tools. In this study, we defined the profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis?specific IFN?+ CD4 T?cell response in TB patients, analysed its evolution after completion of a standard anti?tubercular treatment regimen and evaluated how the host CD4 response associates with clinical TB extent and treatment response.
Project description:Background: The analysis of phenotypic characteristics on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)-specific T cells is a promising approach for the diagnosis of active tuberculosis (aTB) and for monitoring treatment success. We therefore studied phenotypic changes on MTB-specific CD4 T cells upon anti-tuberculosis treatment initiation in relation to the treatment response as determined by sputum culture. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects with latent MTB infection (n = 16) and aTB (n = 39) at baseline, weeks 9, 12, and 26 (end of treatment) were analyzed after intracellular interferon gamma staining and overnight stimulation with tuberculin. Liquid sputum cultures were performed weekly until week 12 and during 4 visits until week 26. Results: T cell activation marker expression on MTB-specific CD4 T cells differed significantly between subjects with aTB and latent MTB infection with no overlap for the frequencies of CD38pos and Ki67pos cells (both p < 0.0001). At 9 weeks after anti-TB treatment initiation the frequencies of activation marker (CD38, HLA-DR, Ki67) positive MTB-specific, but not total CD4 T cells, were significantly reduced (p < 0.0001). Treatment induced phenotypic changes from baseline until week 9 and until week 12 differed substantially between individual aTB patients and correlated with an individual's time to stable sputum culture conversion for expression of CD38 and HLA-DR (both p < 0.05). In contrast, the frequencies of maturation marker CD27 positive MTB-specific CD4 T cells remained largely unchanged until week 26 and significantly differed between subjects with treated TB disease and latent MTB infection (p = 0.0003). Discussion: Phenotypic changes of MTB-specific T cells are potential surrogate markers for tuberculosis treatment efficacy and can help to discriminate between aTB (profile: CD38pos, CD27low), treated TB (CD38neg, CD27low), and latent MTB infection (CD38neg, CD27high).
Project description:Several immune-based assays have been suggested to differentiate latent from active tuberculosis (TB). However, their relative performance as well as their efficacy in HIV-infected persons, a highly at-risk population, remains unclear. In a study of 81 individuals, divided into four groups based on their HIV-1 status and TB disease activity, we compared the differentiation (CD27 and KLRG1), activation (HLA-DR), homing potential (CCR4, CCR6, CXCR3, and CD161) and functional profiles (IFN?, IL-2, and TNF?) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-specific CD4+ T cells using flow cytometry. Active TB disease induced major changes within the Mtb-responding CD4+ T cell population, promoting memory maturation, elevated activation and increased inflammatory potential when compared to individuals with latent TB infection. Moreover, the functional profile of Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells appeared to be inherently related to their degree of differentiation. While these specific cell features were all capable of discriminating latent from active TB, irrespective of HIV status, HLA-DR expression showed the best performance for TB diagnosis [area-under-the-curve (AUC)?=?0.92, 95% CI: 0.82-1.01, specificity: 82%, sensitivity: 84% for HIV- and AUC?=?0.99, 95% CI: 0.98-1.01, specificity: 94%, sensitivity: 93% for HIV+]. In conclusion, these data support the idea that analysis of T cell phenotype can be diagnostically useful in TB.
Project description:Two billion people worldwide are estimated to be latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and are at risk for developing active tuberculosis since Mtb can reactivate to cause TB disease in immune-compromised hosts. Individuals with latent Mtb infection (LTBI) and BCG-vaccinated individuals who are uninfected with Mtb, harbor antigen-specific memory CD4(+) T cells. However, the differences between long-lived memory CD4(+) T cells induced by latent Mtb infection (LTBI) versus BCG vaccination are unclear. In this study, we characterized the immune phenotype and functionality of antigen-specific memory CD4(+) T cells in healthy BCG-vaccinated individuals who were either infected (LTBI) or uninfected (BCG) with Mtb. Individuals were classified into LTBI and BCG groups based on IFN-? ELISPOT using cell wall antigens and ESAT-6/CFP-10 peptides. We show that LTBI individuals harbored high frequencies of late-stage differentiated (CD45RA(-)CD27(-)) antigen-specific effector memory CD4(+) T cells that expressed PD-1. In contrast, BCG individuals had primarily early-stage (CD45RA(-)CD27(+)) cells with low PD-1 expression. CD27(+) and CD27(-) as well as PD-1(+) and PD-1(-) antigen-specific subsets were polyfunctional, suggesting that loss of CD27 expression and up-regulation of PD-1 did not compromise their capacity to produce IFN-?, TNF-? and IL-2. PD-1 was preferentially expressed on CD27(-) antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells, indicating that PD-1 is associated with the stage of differentiation. Using statistical models, we determined that CD27 and PD-1 predicted LTBI versus BCG status in healthy individuals and distinguished LTBI individuals from those who had clinically resolved Mtb infection after anti-tuberculosis treatment. This study shows that CD4(+) memory responses induced by latent Mtb infection, BCG vaccination and clinically resolved Mtb infection are immunologically distinct. Our data suggest that differentiation into CD27(-)PD-1(+) subsets in LTBI is driven by Mtb antigenic stimulation in vivo and that CD27 and PD-1 have the potential to improve our ability to evaluate true LTBI status.
Project description:The identification and treatment of individuals with tuberculosis (TB) is a global public health priority. Accurate diagnosis of pulmonary active TB (ATB) disease remains challenging and relies on extensive medical evaluation and detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in the patient's sputum. Further, the response to treatment is monitored by sputum culture conversion, which takes several weeks for results. Here, we sought to identify blood-based host biomarkers associated with ATB and hypothesized that immune activation markers on Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells would be associated with Mtb load in vivo and could thus provide a gauge of Mtb infection.Using polychromatic flow cytometry, we evaluated the expression of immune activation markers on Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells from individuals with asymptomatic latent Mtb infection (LTBI) and ATB as well as from ATB patients undergoing anti-TB treatment.Frequencies of Mtb-specific IFN-?+CD4+ T cells that expressed immune activation markers CD38 and HLA-DR as well as intracellular proliferation marker Ki-67 were substantially higher in subjects with ATB compared with those with LTBI. These markers accurately classified ATB and LTBI status, with cutoff values of 18%, 60%, and 5% for CD38+IFN-?+, HLA-DR+IFN-?+, and Ki-67+IFN-?+, respectively, with 100% specificity and greater than 96% sensitivity. These markers also distinguished individuals with untreated ATB from those who had successfully completed anti-TB treatment and correlated with decreasing mycobacterial loads during treatment.We have identified host blood-based biomarkers on Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells that discriminate between ATB and LTBI and provide a set of tools for monitoring treatment response and cure.Registration is not required for observational studies.This study was funded by Emory University, the NIH, and the Yerkes National Primate Center.
Project description:Heterologous prime-boost strategies hold promise for vaccination against tuberculosis. However, the T-cell characteristics required for protection are not known. We proposed that boost vaccines should induce long-lived functional and phenotypic changes to T cells primed by Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) and/or natural exposure to mycobacteria. We characterized changes among specific CD4(+) T cells after vaccination with the MVA85A vaccine in adults, adolescents, and children. CD4(+) T cells identified with Ag85A peptide-bearing HLA class II tetramers were characterized by flow cytometry. We also measured proliferative potential and cytokine expression of Ag85A-specific CD4(+) T cells. During the effector phase, MVA85A-induced specific CD4(+) T cells coexpressed IFN-? and IL-2, skin homing integrins, and the activation marker CD38. This was followed by contraction and a transition to predominantly IL-2-expressing, CD45RA(-) CCR7(+) CD27(+) or CD45RA(+) CCR7(+) CD27(+) specific CD4(+) T cells. These surface phenotypes were similar to Ag85A-specific T cells prior to MVA85A. However, functional differences were observed postvaccination: specific proliferative capacity was markedly higher after 6-12 months than before vaccination. Our data suggest that MVA85A vaccination may modulate Ag85A-specific CD4(+) T-cell function, resulting in greater recall potential. Importantly, surface phenotypes commonly used as proxies for memory T-cell function did not associate with functional effects of vaccination.
Project description:Both HIV and TB cause a state of heightened immune activation. Immune activation in HIV is associated with progression to AIDS. Prior studies, focusing on persons with advanced HIV, have shown no decline in markers of cellular activation in response to TB therapy alone.This prospective cohort study, composed of participants within a larger phase 3 open-label randomized controlled clinical trial, measured the impact of TB treatment on immune activation in persons with non-advanced HIV infection (CD4>350 cells/mm3) and pulmonary TB. HIV load, CD4 count, and markers of immune activation (CD38 and HLA-DR on CD4 and CD8 T cells) were measured prior to starting, during, and for 6 months after completion of standard 6 month anti-tuberculosis (TB) therapy in 38 HIV infected Ugandans with smear and culture confirmed pulmonary TB.Expression of CD38, and co-expression of CD38 and HLA-DR, on CD8 cells declined significantly within 3 months of starting standard TB therapy in the absence of anti-retroviral therapy, and remained suppressed for 6 months after completion of therapy. In contrast, HIV load and CD4 count remained unchanged throughout the study period.TB therapy leads to measurable decreases in immune activation in persons with HIV/TB co-infection and CD4 counts>350 cells/mm3.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Blood-based biomarkers have been proposed as an alternative to current sputum-based treatment monitoring methods in active tuberculosis (ATB). The aim of this study was to validate previously described phenotypic, activation, and cytokine markers of treatment response in a West African cohort.<h4>Methods</h4>Whole blood immune responses to <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> ESAT-6/CFP-10 (EC) and purified protein derivative (PPD) were measured in twenty adults at baseline and after 2 months of standard TB treatment. Patients were classified as fast or slow responders based on a negative or positive sputum culture result at 2 months, respectively. Cellular expression of activation markers (CD38, HLA-DR), memory markers (CD27), and functional intracellular cytokine and proliferation (IFN-?, Ki-67, TNF-?) markers were measured using multi-color flow cytometry.<h4>Results</h4>There was a significant increase in the proportion of CD4<sup>+</sup>CD27<sup>+</sup> cells expressing CD38 and HLA-DR following EC stimulation at 2 months compared to baseline (<i>p</i> = 0.0328 and <i>p</i> = 0.0400, respectively). Following PPD stimulation, slow treatment responders had a significantly higher proportion of CD8<sup>+</sup>CD27<sup>-</sup>IFN-?<sup>+</sup> (<i>p</i> = 0.0105) and CD4<sup>+</sup>CD27<sup>+</sup>HLA-DR<sup>+</sup>CD38<sup>+</sup> (<i>p</i> = 0.0077) T cells than fast responders at baseline. Receiver operating curve analysis of these subsets resulted in 80% sensitivity and 70 and 100% specificity, respectively (AUC of 0.82, <i>p</i> = 0.0156 and 0.84, <i>p</i> = 0.0102).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our pilot data show reductions in expression of T cell activation markers were seen with treatment, but this was not associated with fast or slow sputum conversion at 2 months. However, baseline proportions of activated T cell subsets are potentially predictive of the subsequent speed of response to treatment.
Project description:Protective immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) remains poorly understood and the role of Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells is controversial. Here we performed a broad phenotypic and functional characterization of Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells in 326 subjects with latent Mtb infection (LTBI) or active TB disease (TB). Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells were detected in most (60%) TB patients and few (15%) LTBI subjects but were of similar magnitude. Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells in LTBI subjects were mostly T EMRA cells (CD45RA(+) CCR7(-)), coexpressing 2B4 and CD160, and in TB patients were mostly TEM cells (CD45RA(-) CCR7(-)), expressing 2B4 but lacking PD-1 and CD160. The cytokine profile was not significantly different in both groups. Furthermore, Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells expressed low levels of perforin and granulysin but contained granzymes A and B. However, in vitro-expanded Mtb-specific CD8(+) T cells expressed perforin and granulysin. Finally, Mtb-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses were less frequently detected in extrapulmonary TB compared with pulmonary TB patients. Mtb-specific CD8(+) T-cell proliferation was also greater in patients with extrapulmonary compared with pulmonary TB. Thus, the activity of Mtb infection and clinical presentation are associated with distinct profiles of Mtb-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses. These results provide new insights in the interaction between Mtb and the host immune response.
Project description:RD1-based Interferon-? Release Assays (IGRAs) cannot distinguish latent from active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Conversely, a positive response to heparin-binding haemagglutinin (HBHA)-based IGRAs, among TB-infected subjects, correlates with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) containment and low risk of TB progression. The aim of this study was to characterize HBHA-immune responses in HIV-infected and uninfected subjects with active TB or latent TB infection (LTBI).49 subjects were prospectively enrolled: 22 HIV-uninfected (13 TB, 9 LTBI) and 27 HIV-infected (12 HIV-TB, 15 HIV-LTBI). Whole blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with HBHA and RD1 antigens. Interferon (IFN)? release was evaluated by ELISA whereas cytokine profile [IFN?, tumor necrosis (TNF)?, interleukin (IL)2] and phenotype (CD45RA, CCR7) by flow cytometry.Among LTBI individuals, HBHA stimulation induced IFN? release in all the HIV-uninfected, while, only 4/15 HIV-infected responded. Within the active TB, only 5/13 HIV-uninfected and 1/12 HIV-TB patients responded. Interestingly, by cytometry we showed that CD4+ T-cells response to HBHA was significantly impaired in the HIV-infected subjects with TB or LTBI compared to the HIV-uninfected subjects. The phenotype of HBHA-specific CD4 T-cells showed a predominantly central memory (CM) and effector memory (EM) phenotype without differences among the groups. Differently, HBHA-specific CD8+ T-cells, showed mainly a CM and naïve phenotype in LTBI group while TB, HIV-LTBI and HIV-TB groups were characterized by EM or terminally differentiated phenotypes. Interestingly, differently than what observed for RD1, the cytokine profile of HBHA-specific T-cells evaluated by cytometry showed that the CD4+ T-cells were mostly monofunctional. Conversely, CD8-specific T-cells were mostly monofunctional for both HBHA and RD1 stimulations.These results characterize the impact of HIV infection in CD4- and CD8-specific response to HBHA in both LTBI and TB patients. HIV infection impairs the CD4 response to HBHA and likely this may lead to an impairment of TB control.