Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 65(8) 1356-1358 doi 10.1093/cid/cix550
There is no biomarker for diagnosing active tuberculosis in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) is an immunoregulatory enzyme that breaks down tryptophan (Trp) to metabolites known as kynurenines (Kyns). We investigated whether IDO activity, as measured by the ratio of Kyn to Trp, could be used to diagnose or predict active tuberculosis disease in HIV-infected adults.
Kyn and Trp concentrations were measured using ultraperformance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in plasma samples from 32 HIV-infected patients in whom active tuberculosis developed and who were followed up prospectively. We compared to 70 HIV-infected control subjects from the same cohort in whom tuberculosis did not develop, matched by age, sex, and CD4 cell count, and 37 unmatched HIV-infected patients with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Clinical parameters, including body mass index, CD4 cell count, HIV load, and C-reactive protein levels were analyzed.
At the time of tuberculosis diagnosis, IDO activity was significantly higher in patients with tuberculosis than in controls (P < .001). Six months before tuberculosis diagnosis, IDO activity was significantly higher in all patients who later developed tuberculosis (P < .001) than controls. After 6 months of tuberculosis treatment, IDO activity in patients with tuberculosis declined to levels similar to those in controls. IDO activity was 4-fold higher in patients with tuberculosis than in those with pneumonia, and could be used to distinguish them. With a receiver operating characteristic curve, IDO activity had a sensitivity of 97%, a specificity of 99%, and positive and negative predictive values of 89% and 100% for detecting active tuberculosis disease. Conclusion
Plasma IDO activity is suitable as a biomarker of active tuberculosis in HIV-positive patients.