Ex vivo characterization of early secretory antigenic target 6-specific T cells at sites of active disease in pleural tuberculosis

Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Jan 1;40(1):184-7. doi: 10.1086/426139. Epub 2004 Dec 8.


Presence of early secretory antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6)-specific, interferon- gamma -secreting T cells in blood accurately marks tuberculosis infection. In tuberculous pleural effusions from 10 patients with tuberculosis, these cells were concentrated a mean of 15-fold (standard deviation, +/-6-fold), relative to their level in peripheral blood (P=.014), and displayed rapid effector function. Such cells were absent in 8 control patients with nontuberculous pleural disease. The recruitment of ESAT-6-specific T cells to inflamed tuberculous tissue demonstrates their function in vivo and suggests a novel way to diagnose tuberculous pleuritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Pleural Effusion
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets*
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / immunology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • ESAT-6 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Interferon-gamma