The Journal of infection 2016 Oct 4() pii 10.1016/j.jinf.2016.09.008
QuantiFERON(®)-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) is the new generation of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test to identify latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). QFT-Plus includes TB1 and TB2 tubes which contain selected Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) peptides designed to stimulate both CD4 and CD8 T-cells. Aim of this study is the flow cytometric characterization of the specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to Mtb antigens contained within QFT-Plus.
We enrolled 27 active tuberculosis (TB) patients and 30 LTBI individuals. Following stimulation with TB1 and TB2, antigen-specific T-cells were characterized by flow cytometry. Data were also correlated with the grade of TB severity.
TB1 mainly elicited a CD4 T-cell response while TB2 induced both CD4 and CD8 responses. Moreover, the TB2-specific CD4 response was detected for both active TB and LTBI patients, whereas the TB2-specific CD8 response was primarily associated with active TB (p = 0.01).
To our knowledge, we report the first characterization of the CD4 and CD8 T-cell response to QFT-Plus. CD8 T-cell response is mainly due to TB2 stimulation which is largely associated to active TB. These results provide a better knowledge on the use of this assay.