Detection of interleukin-2 in Addition to Interferon-Gamma Discriminates Active Tuberculosis Patients, Latently Infected Individuals, and Controls

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Aug;16(8):1282-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03104.x. Epub 2009 Nov 2.


Effective control of tuberculosis (TB) includes discrimination of subjects with active TB from individuals with latent TB infection (LTBI). As distinct interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-2 profiles of antigen-specific T-cells have been associated with different clinical stages and antigen loads in several viral and bacterial diseases, we analysed these cytokines in TB using a modified QuantiFERON-TB Gold In Tube test. Detection of IL-2 in addition to IFN-gamma distinguishes not only Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected subjects from healthy controls, but also individuals with LTBI from active TB patients. This may help to improve diagnostic tests for TB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*


  • IL2 protein, human
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interferon-gamma