Inborn errors of human interferon gamma (IFN-γ) immunity underlie mycobacterial disease. We report a patient with mycobacterial disease due to inherited deficiency of the transcription factor T-bet. The patient has extremely low counts of circulating Mycobacterium-reactive natural killer (NK), invariant NKT (iNKT), mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT), and Vδ2+ γδ T lymphocytes, and of Mycobacterium-non reactive classic TH1 lymphocytes, with the residual populations of these cells also producing abnormally small amounts of IFN-γ. Other lymphocyte subsets develop normally but produce low levels of IFN-γ, with the exception of CD8+ αβ T and non-classic CD4+ αβ TH1∗ lymphocytes, which produce IFN-γ normally in response to mycobacterial antigens. Human T-bet deficiency thus underlies mycobacterial disease by preventing the development of innate (NK) and innate-like adaptive lymphocytes (iNKT, MAIT, and Vδ2+ γδ T cells) and IFN-γ production by them, with mycobacterium-specific, IFN-γ-producing, purely adaptive CD8+ αβ T, and CD4+ αβ TH1∗ cells unable to compensate for this deficit.
Keywords: IFN-γ; Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease; T-bet; immunodeficiency; inborn errors of immunity; innate lymphocyte; innate-like adaptive lymphocyte; mycobacterium.
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