Springer Nature

The plasma kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio as a biomarker of tuberculosis disease in people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy: an exploratory nested case–control study

Posted on 2024-04-03 - 03:43
Abstract Background Non-sputum-based tests are needed to predict or diagnose tuberculosis (TB) disease in people living with HIV (PWH). The enzyme indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) is expressed in tuberculoid granuloma and catabolizes tryptophan (Trp) to kynurenine (Kyn). IDO1 activity compromises innate and adaptive immune responses, promoting mycobacterial survival. The plasma Kyn-to-Trp (K/T) ratio is a potential TB diagnostic and/or predictive biomarker in PWH on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). Methods We compared plasma K/T ratios in samples from PWH, who were followed up prospectively and developed TB disease after ART initiation. Controls were matched for age and duration of ART. Kyn and Trp were measured at 3 timepoints; at TB diagnosis, 6 months before TB diagnosis and 6 months after TB diagnosis, using ultra performance liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. Results The K/T ratios were higher for patients with TB disease at time of diagnosis (median, 0.086; IQR, 0.069–0.123) compared to controls (0.055; IQR 0.045–0.064; p = 0.006), but not before or after TB diagnosis. K/T ratios significantly declined after successful TB treatment, but increased upon treatment failure. The K/T ratios showed a parabolic correlation with CD4 cell counts in participants with TB (p = 0.005), but there was no correlation in controls. Conclusions The plasma K/T ratio helped identify TB disease and may serve as an adjunctive biomarker for for monitoring TB treatment in PWH. Validation studies to ascertain these findings and evaluate the optimum cut-off for diagnosis of TB disease in PWH should be undertaken in well-designed prospective cohorts. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00411983.


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