Setting: Recent reports indicate a role of chemokine inducible protein 10 (IP-10) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection substantiated by the detection of elevated levels in plasma and at infection foci in individuals infected with M. tuberculosis.
Objective: To evaluate IP-10 as a potential marker for the diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection in children living in a region of low tuberculosis (TB) prevalence.
Design: IP-10 levels were obtained after whole blood stimulation with M. tuberculosis-specific antigens in 127 children. IP-10 results were evaluated upon gradations of exposure risk to M. tuberculosis and correlation with tuberculin skin test and an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA).
Results: IP-10 reactivity correlated well to risk of exposure to M. tuberculosis in children. There was a strong correlation between IP-10 and IGRA results. IP-10 responses, unlike interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), were not age-dependent and detected more positive results in children aged <5 years. In the children with active disease, the IGRA was more sensitive than IP-10 at detecting M. tuberculosis infection.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that IP-10 in combination with IFN-gamma may enhance the diagnostic performance of IGRAs in detecting M. tuberculosis infection, especially in young children.