A molecular assay for sensitive detection of pathogen-specific T-cells.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 08/2011; 6(8):e20606. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020606
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Here we describe the development and validation of a highly sensitive assay of antigen-specific IFN-γ production using real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) for two reporters--monokine-induced by IFN-γ (MIG) and the IFN-γ inducible protein-10 (IP10). We developed and validated the assay and applied it to the detection of CMV, HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) specific responses, in a cohort of HIV co-infected patients. We compared the sensitivity of this assay to that of the ex vivo RD1 (ESAT-6 and CFP-10)-specific IFN-γ Elispot assay. We observed a clear quantitative correlation between the two assays (P<0.001). Our assay proved to be a sensitive assay for the detection of MTB-specific T cells, could be performed on whole blood samples of fingerprick (50 uL) volumes, and was not affected by HIV-mediated immunosuppression. This assay platform is potentially of utility in diagnosis of infection in this and other clinical settings.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: T cell cytokine release assays are used to diagnose infectious diseases, but not autoimmune or allergic disease. Coeliac disease (CD) is a common T cell-mediated disease diagnosed by the presence of gluten-dependent intestinal inflammation and serology. Many patients cannot be diagnosed with CD because they reduce dietary gluten before medical workup. Oral gluten challenge in CD patients treated with gluten-free diet (GFD) mobilizes gluten-reactive T cells measurable by interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) or major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II tetramers. Immunodominant peptides are quite consistent in the 90% of patients who possess HLA-DQ2·5. We aimed to develop whole blood assays to detect gluten-specific T cells. Blood was collected before and after gluten challenge from GFD donors confirmed to have CD (n = 27, all HLA-DQ2·5+), GFD donors confirmed not to have CD (n = 6 HLA-DQ2·5+, 11 HLA-DQ2·5−) and donors with CD not following GFD (n = 4, all HLA-DQ2·5+). Plasma IFN-γ and IFN-γ inducible protein-10 (IP-10) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) after whole blood incubation with peptides or gliadin, and correlated with IFN-γ ELISPOT. No T cell assay could distinguish between CD patients and controls prior to gluten challenge, but after gluten challenge the whole blood IFN-γ ELISA and the ELISPOT were both 85% sensitive and 100% specific for HLA-DQ2·5+ CD patients; the whole blood IP-10 ELISA was 94% sensitive and 100% specific. We conclude that whole blood cytokine release assays are sensitive and specific for detection of gluten-reactive T cells in CD; further clinical studies addressing the utility of these tests in patients with an uncertain diagnosis of CD is warranted.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 02/2014; 175(2). · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pioneer studies on infectious disease and immunology by Jenner, Pasteur, Koch, Von Behring, Nocard, Roux, and Ehrlich forged a path for the dual-purpose with dual benefit approach, demonstrating a profound relevance of veterinary studies for biomedical applications. Tuberculosis (TB), primarily due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in humans and Mycobacterium bovis in cattle, is an exemplary model for the demonstration of this concept. Early studies with cattle were instrumental in the development of the use of Koch's tuberculin as an in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity for diagnostic purposes. Calmette and Guerin demonstrated the efficacy of an attenuated M. bovis strain (BCG) in cattle prior to use of this vaccine in humans. The interferon-γ release assay, now widely used for TB diagnosis in humans, was developed circa 1990 for use in the Australian bovine TB eradication program. More recently, M. bovis infection and vaccine efficacy studies with cattle have demonstrated a correlation of vaccine-elicited T cell central memory (TCM) responses to vaccine efficacy, correlation of specific antibody to mycobacterial burden and lesion severity, and detection of antigen-specific IL-17 responses to vaccination and infection. Additionally, positive prognostic indicators of bovine TB vaccine efficacy (i.e., responses measured after infection) include: reduced antigen-specific IFN-γ, iNOS, IL-4, and MIP1-α responses; reduced antigen-specific expansion of CD4+ T cells; and a diminished activation profile on T cells within antigen stimulated cultures. Delayed type hypersensitivity and IFN-γ responses correlate with infection but do not necessarily correlate with lesion severity whereas antibody responses generally correlate with lesion severity. Recently, serologic tests have emerged for the detection of tuberculous animals, particularly elephants, captive cervids, and camelids. B cell aggregates are consistently detected within tuberculous lesions of humans, cattle, mice and various other species, suggesting a role for B cells in the immunopathogenesis of TB. Comparative immunology studies including partnerships of researchers with veterinary and medical perspectives will continue to provide mutual benefit to TB research in both man and animals.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 06/2014; · 1.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antigen specific release of IP-10 is the most promising alternative marker to IFN-γ for infection with M. tuberculosis. Compared to Interferon-γ release assays (IGRA), IP-10 is released in high levels enabling novel approaches such as field friendly dried blood spots (DBS) and molecular detection.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e105628. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014