PloS one 2017 05 0212(5) e0176660 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0176660
To identify plasma markers predictive of therapeutic response in patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Fifty HIV-negative patients with active pulmonary MDR-TB were analysed for six soluble analytes in plasma at the time of initiating treatment (baseline) and over six months thereafter. Patients were identified as sputum culture positive or negative at baseline. Culture positive patients were further stratified by the median time to sputum culture conversion (SCC) as fast responders (< 76 days) or slow responders (≥ 76 days). Chest X-ray scores, body mass index, and sputum smear microscopy results were obtained at baseline. RESULTS
Unsupervised hierarchical clustering revealed that baseline plasma levels of IP-10/CXCL10, VEGF-A, SAA and CRP could distinguish sputum culture and cavitation status of patients. Among patients who were culture positive at baseline, there were significant positive correlations between plasma levels of CRP, SAA, VEGF-A, sIL-2Rα/CD40, and IP-10 and delayed SCC. Using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and Receiver Operating Curves (ROC), we showed that a combination of MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10, sIL-2Rα, SAA, CRP and AFB smear could distinguish fast from slow responders and were predictive of delayed SCC with high sensitivity and specificity.
Plasma levels of specific chemokines and inflammatory markers measured before MDR-TB treatment are candidate predictive markers of delayed SCC. These findings require validation in a larger study.