Some cytokines can act as markers for potential TB recurrence in patients being treated with antiretroviral therapy for HIV, according to Healio.

The researchers enrolled a subset of participants in the CAPRISA 005 TB Recurrence Upon Treatment with HAART study, conducted at the CAPRISA eThekwini clinic in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. That study’s aim was to measure the incidence of recurring TB among 402 patients on highly active ART. The patients were screened for TB once every 3 months for 4 years.

The subset enrolled by Sivro and colleagues included 63 patients with recurring TB (cases) and 123 with no evidence of recurring TB (controls) during follow-up. Peripheral blood and plasma samples were collected from the patients.

In those samples, the researchers measured the levels of 21 cytokines that they said are important in immune response.

They found that significantly higher plasma levels of interleukin 6 (adjusted OR = 4.79; 95% CI, 1.66-13.81), interleukin 1 beta (aOR = 3.41; 95% CI, 1.26-9.24) and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (aOR = 2.04; 95% CI, 1.04-3.98) were associated with an increased risk for recurrence of TB. Interferon beta was associated with a decreased risk for recurrence, they said (aOR = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.07-0.99).

The researchers stressed that there is “an urgent need” to identify diagnostic markers of TB in individuals with HIV to improve patient management and for the development of new drugs and vaccines.