Partial interferon-gamma receptor 1 deficiency in a child with tuberculoid bacillus Calmette-Guérin infection and a sibling with clinical tuberculosis

J Clin Invest. 1997 Dec 1;100(11):2658-64. doi: 10.1172/JCI119810.


Complete interferon-gamma receptor 1 (IFNgammaR1) deficiency has been identified previously as a cause of fatal bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection with lepromatoid granulomas, and of disseminated nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infection in children who had not been inoculated with BCG. We report here a kindred with partial IFNgammaR1 deficiency: one child afflicted by disseminated BCG infection with tuberculoid granulomas, and a sibling, who had not been inoculated previously with BCG, with clinical tuberculosis. Both responded to antimicrobials and are currently well without prophylactic therapy. Impaired response to IFN-gamma was documented in B cells by signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 nuclear translocation, in fibroblasts by cell surface HLA class II induction, and in monocytes by cell surface CD64 induction and TNF-alpha secretion. Whereas cells from healthy children responded to even low IFN-gamma concentrations (10 IU/ml), and cells from a child with complete IFNgammaR1 deficiency did not respond to even high IFN-gamma concentrations (10,000 IU/ml), cells from the two siblings did not respond to low or intermediate concentrations, yet responded to high IFN-gamma concentrations. A homozygous missense IFNgR1 mutation was identified, and its pathogenic role was ascertained by molecular complementation. Thus, whereas complete IFNgammaR1 deficiency in previously identified kindreds caused fatal lepromatoid BCG infection and disseminated NTM infection, partial IFNgammaR1 deficiency in this kindred caused curable tuberculoid BCG infection and clinical tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • BCG Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Mycobacterium bovis*
  • Pedigree
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Interferon / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics
  • Tuberculosis / etiology
  • Tuberculosis / genetics
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • BCG Vaccine
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta