Interleukin-12 receptor beta1 deficiency in a patient with abdominal tuberculosis

J Infect Dis. 2001 Jul 15;184(2):231-6. doi: 10.1086/321999. Epub 2001 Jun 14.


Two siblings with interleukin-12 receptor beta1 (IL-12Rbeta1) deficiency but different clinical phenotypes were studied. Both are homozygous for an IL12RB1 missense mutation that prevents receptor expression and abolishes cellular responses to IL-12. Transfection of the patients' T cells with wild-type IL12RB1 restored IL-12Rbeta1 expression and function. One patient had the expected phenotype of disseminated bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection in early childhood, whereas the other did not develop BCG infection, despite 3 inoculations with live BCG. Abdominal tuberculosis was diagnosed in this second patient at age 18 years. To date, neither of them has had clinical disease caused by environmental mycobacteria. These observations show unexpected interfamilial and intrafamilial heterogeneity of the clinical phenotype associated with IL-12Rbeta1 deficiency. The patients may be resistant to BCG but remain vulnerable to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A diagnosis of IL-12Rbeta1 deficiency should therefore be considered in selected patients with severe tuberculosis, despite their resistance to BCG and a lack of atypical mycobacteriosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / microbiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Consanguinity*
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diseases in Twins*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnosis*
  • Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Interleukin / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Interleukin / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-12
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • IL12RB1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-12