Recent progress in understanding immune activation in the pathogenesis in HIV-tuberculosis co-infection.
du Bruyn E., Peton N., Esmail H., Howlett PJ., Coussens AK., Wilkinson RJ.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tuberculosis is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, and HIV-1 the best recognized risk factor for active TB. This review focuses on immune complex formation; the interplay of type I and II interferon signaling; and T-cell activation in HIV-TB pathogenesis. RECENT FINDINGS: Circulating immune complexes and complement, and Fcγ signaling in whole blood act as early markers of TB disease in HIV-1-infected persons. HIV-1 is associated with a type I interferon response in whole blood, reducing the specificity of TB biomarkers dependent on type I and II interferon genes. Type I and type II interferons are implicated in both protection and TB disease, a protective outcome may depend on modulating these pathways. Whilst M. tuberculosis-specific CD4 T cells are preferentially depleted during HIV-1 infection, activation markers on M. tuberculosis-specific CD4 T cells, in particular HLA-DR, reflect immune activation and have promise as biomarkers of M. tuberculosis disease activity in individuals with HIV-1. SUMMARY: TB pathogenesis in HIV-1 involves a complex interaction of underlying activation of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Further research is required to understand whether biomarkers of activation could be used to predict or quantify TB disease in the context of HIV-1 infection.