B in TB: B Cells as Mediators of Clinically Relevant Immune Responses in Tuberculosis

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Oct 15;61Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S225-34. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ614.


The protective role of B cells and humoral immune responses in tuberculosis infection has been regarded as inferior to cellular immunity directed to the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, B-cell-mediated immune responses in tuberculosis have recently been revisited in the context of B-cell physiology and antigen presentation. We discuss in this review the diverse functions of B cells in tuberculosis, with a focus on their biological and clinical relevance to progression of active disease. We also present the peptide microarray platform as a promising strategy to discover unknown antigenic targets of M. tuberculosis that could contribute to the better understanding of epitope focus of the humoral immune system against M. tuberculosis.

Keywords: B cells; antibodies; cytokines; host-directed therapy; tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cytokines
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Peptide Library
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Cytokines
  • Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte
  • Peptide Library