Autoantibodies to interferon-gamma in a patient with selective susceptibility to mycobacterial infection and organ-specific autoimmunity

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 1;38(1):e10-4. doi: 10.1086/380453. Epub 2003 Dec 4.


We evaluated a patient with disseminated Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium chelonae infection, of which he died. He also developed autoimmune (type I) diabetes and primary hypothyroidism. His serum contained a high titer of immunoglobulin G autoantibody to interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) capable of blocking in vitro responses to this cytokine by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal donors. These results suggest that autoantibodies to IFN-gamma can induce susceptibility to disseminated mycobacterial infection, which may be refractory to chemotherapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoimmunity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / etiology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / complications
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium chelonae / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Tuberculosis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interferon-gamma