Microparticles in the pathogenesis of TB: Novel perspectives for diagnostic and therapy management of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection

Microb Pathog. 2020 Jul:144:104176. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104176. Epub 2020 Mar 31.


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, usually chronic and has a progressive clinical course. Despite the availability of effective chemotherapy, TB is a leading killer of young adults worldwide and the global multi-drug resistant TB is reaching epidemic proportions. Interrupt transmission through early detection and treatment of the patients is a main element of the drug-resistant TB control strategy. However, many drugable targets in pathogens are already inhibited by current antibiotics and there is not a biomarker that indicate normal or pathogenic biological processes, or pharmacological responses to therapeutic intervention. Studies directed at evaluate key elements of host response to infection may identify biomarkers with measurable characteristics that indicate pathogenic biological processes. Cell-derived microparticles (MPs) are membrane-coated vesicles that represent subcellular elements and have been identified increasingly in a broad range of diseases and emerging as potential novel biomarker to pathological processes. In addition, MPs carry contents from their cells of origin as bioactive molecules as cytokines, enzymes, surface receptors, antigens and genetic information and may provide a means of communication between cells. Molecules-loaded MPs may interplay with the immune system and therefore can acts on inflammation, cell activation and migration. Therefore, MPs may be an important factor to immune process during Mtb infection, especially in pulmonary granulomas and influence the outcome of infection. Their characterization may facilitate an appropriate diagnosis, optimize pharmacological strategies and might be further explored as potential targets for future clinical interventions.

Keywords: Cell-derived microparticles; Host-directed therapy; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Tuberculosis biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / metabolism*
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / microbiology
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / pathology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary* / pathology


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Biomarkers