Tuberculosis (TB) is an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality with different clinical presentations and outcomes as compared to TB in adults. The present study was designed to compare these differences and to determine if childhood TB was an important predictor of adverse outcome following treatment under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).
Medical college faculty, who are academicians are seldom directly involved in the implementation of national public health programmes. More than a decade ago for the first time in the global history of tuberculosis (TB) control, medical colleges of India were involved in the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) of Government of India (GOI). This report documents the unique and extraordinary course of events that led to the involvement of medical colleges in the RNTCP of GOI. It also reports the contributions made by the medical colleges to TB control in India. For more than a decade, medical colleges have been providing diagnostic services (Designated Microscopy Centres), treatment [Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) Centres] referral for treatment, recording and reporting data, carrying out advocacy for RNTCP and conducting operational research relevant to RNTCP. Medical colleges are contributing to diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-TB co-infection and development of laboratory infrastructure for early diagnosis of multidrug-resistant and/or extensively drug-resistant TB (M/XDR-TB) and DOTS-Plus sites for treatment of MDR-TB cases. Overall, at a national level, medical colleges have contributed to 25 per cent of TB suspects referred for diagnosis; 23 per cent of new smear-positives diagnosed; 7 per cent of DOT provision within medical college; and 86 per cent treatment success rate among new smear-positive patients. As the Programme widens its scope, future challenges include sustenance of this contribution and facilitating universal access to quality TB care; greater involvement in operational research relevant to the Programme needs; and better co-ordination mechanisms between district, state, zonal and national level to encourage their involvement.
India with a major burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) does not have national level data on this hazardous disease. Since 2006, emergence of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is considered a serious threat to global TB control. This study highlights the demographic and clinical risk factors associated with XDR-TB in Delhi.
We have reported previously the identification of novel proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by the immunoscreening of an expression library of M. tuberculosis genomic DNA with sera obtained from M. tuberculosis-infected rabbits at 5 weeks postinfection. In this study, we report the further characterization of one of these antigens, LipC (Rv0220). LipC is annotated as a member of the Lip family based on the presence of the consensus motif "GXSXG" characteristic of esterases. Although predicted to be a cytoplasmic enzyme, we provide evidence that LipC is a cell surface protein that is present in both the cell wall and the capsule of M. tuberculosis. Consistent with this localization, LipC elicits strong humoral immune responses in both HIV-negative (HIV-) and HIV-positive (HIV+) tuberculosis (TB) patients. The absence of anti-LipC antibodies in sera from purified protein derivative-positive (PPD+) healthy subjects confirms its expression only during active M. tuberculosis infection. Epitope mapping of LipC identified 6 immunodominant epitopes, 5 of which map to the exposed surface of the modeled LipC protein. The recombinant LipC (rLipC) protein also elicits proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses from macrophages and pulmonary epithelial cells. rLipC can hydrolyze short-chain esters with the carbon chain containing 2 to 10 carbon atoms. Together, these studies demonstrate that LipC is a novel cell surface-associated esterase of M. tuberculosis that is highly immunogenic and elicits both antibodies and cytokines/chemokines.
Development of noninvasive methods for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, with the potential to be administered in field situations, remains as an unmet challenge. A wide array of molecules are present in urine and reflect the pathophysiological condition of a subject. With infection, an alteration in the molecular constituents is anticipated, characterization of which may form a basis for TB diagnosis. In the present study volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human urine derived from TB patients and healthy controls were identified and quantified using headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). We found significant (p < 0.05) increase in the abundance of o-xylene (6.37) and isopropyl acetate (2.07) and decreased level of 3-pentanol (0.59), dimethylstyrene (0.37), and cymol (0.42) in TB patients compared to controls. These markers could discriminate TB from healthy controls and related diseases like lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. This study suggests a possibility of using urinary VOCs for the diagnosis of human TB.
Spontaneous acquired diaphragmatic hernia without any apparent history of trauma is a very rare condition and is very difficult to diagnose. We present a case of a 21-year-old male who presented with abdominal pain for one month and four episodes of vomiting for one day. Clinical suspicion, chest radiography with nasogastric tube in situ and computed tomography (CT) confirmed the diagnosis. The diaphragmatic defect was repaired surgically. The patient had an uneventful post-operative recovery.
Protective immune responses during Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) infection are regulated at multiple levels and critically dependent on the balance in the secretion of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines. A key factor that governs this balance at the cellular level is suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS). We recently demonstrated that toll-like receptor 2 and dendritic cell (DC)-SIGNR1 differentially regulate SOCS1 expression in DCs during M. tuberculosis infection. This consecutively regulated IL-12 production and determined M. tuberculosis survival. In this study, we characterized the role of SOCS1 in regulating effector responses from CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells during M. tuberculosis infection. Our data indicate that T cells from M. tuberculosis-infected mice show increased and differential association of SOCS1 with CD3 and CD28, when compared with uninfected mice. While SOCS1 displays increased association with CD3 than CD28 in CD4(+) T cells; SOCS1 is associated more with CD28 than CD3 in CD8(+) T cells. Further, SOCS1 shows increased association with IL-12 and IL-2 receptors in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from infected mice when compared with naive mice. Silencing SOCS1 in T cells increased signal transduction from T cell receptor (TCR) and CD28 with enhanced activation of key signaling molecules and proliferation. Significantly, SOCS1-silenced T cells mediated enhanced clearance of M. tuberculosis inside macrophages. Finally, adoptive transfer of SOCS1-silenced T cells in M. tuberculosis-infected mice mediated significant reduction in M. tuberculosis loads in spleen. These results exemplify the negative role played by SOCS1 during T cell priming and effector functions during M. tuberculosis infection.
A hallmark of protective immunity during Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection is the regulated secretion of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines. Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) are key regulators of cytokine secretion and function. In this study we investigated regulation of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing non-integrin receptor 1 (DC-SIGNR1)-mediated SOCS1 expression in DCs during M. tb infection. We show that, compared with TLR2, stimulating DC-SIGNR1 on DCs induces higher SOCS1 expression and lower interleukin-12 production. Co-stimulating DC-SIGNR1 and TLR2 differentially regulates SOCS1 expression depending on the relative concentration of their ligands. Stimulating DC-SIGNR1 with M. tb infection increases SOCS1 expression, while stimulating TLR2 with M. tb infection reduces SOCS1 expression. Knockdown of SOCS1 in DCs by siRNA enhances interleukin-12 transcription and protein expression upon DC-SIGNR1 stimulation. Raf-1 and Syk differentially regulate TLR2- and DC-SIGNR1-mediated SOCS1 expression. In addition, DC-SIGNR1 shows greater association with SOCS1 when compared with TLR2. Interestingly, compared with healthy asymptomatic individuals, peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with active tuberculosis disease showed higher expression of SOCS1, which was reduced following chemotherapy. Similarly, stimulating DC-SIGNR1 on DCs from M. tb-infected TLR2(-/-) mice enhanced SOCS1 expression that was reduced following chemotherapy. Further, knockdown of SOCS1 in mouse DCs or human peripheral blood mononuclear cells resulted in increased killing of virulent M. tb. These results indicate that TLR2 and DC-SIGNR1 differentially regulate SOCS1 expression during M. tb infection. This in turn regulates M. tb survival by governing key cytokine expression.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis modulates levels and activity of key intracellular second messengers to evade protective immune responses. Calcium release from voltage gated calcium channels (VGCC) regulates immune responses to pathogens. In this study, we investigated the roles of VGCC in regulating protective immunity to mycobacteria in vitro and in vivo. Inhibiting L-type or R-type VGCC in dendritic cells (DCs) either using antibodies or by siRNA increased calcium influx in an inositol 1,4,5-phosphate and calcium release calcium activated channel dependent mechanism that resulted in increased expression of genes favoring pro-inflammatory responses. Further, VGCC-blocked DCs activated T cells that in turn mediated killing of M. tuberculosis inside macrophages. Likewise, inhibiting VGCC in infected macrophages and PBMCs induced calcium influx, upregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory genes and resulted in enhanced killing of intracellular M. tuberculosis. Importantly, compared to healthy controls, PBMCs of tuberculosis patients expressed higher levels of both VGCC, which were significantly reduced following chemotherapy. Finally, blocking VGCC in vivo in M. tuberculosis infected mice using specific antibodies increased intracellular calcium and significantly reduced bacterial loads. These results indicate that L-type and R-type VGCC play a negative role in M. tuberculosis infection by regulating calcium mobilization in cells that determine protective immunity.
Lower respiratory tract infection is one of the common causes of morbidity in India which is occasionally undiagnosed. In this regard tracheobronchomegaly is one of those conditions which masquerade as chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis and are usually undiagnosed. It is a well-defined clinical and radiologic entity characterized by marked dilatation of the trachea and the central bronchi and is frequently associated with recurrent lower respiratory tract infection. Tracheobronchomegaly has been described by a variety of names, including Mounier-Kuhn syndrome, tracheal diverticulosis, tracheobronchiectasis, tracheocele, tracheomalacia, and tracheobronchopathia malacia.
Linezolid is used off-label to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in absence of systematic evidence. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on efficacy, safety and tolerability of linezolid-containing regimes based on individual data analysis. 12 studies (11 countries from three continents) reporting complete information on safety, tolerability, efficacy of linezolid-containing regimes in treating MDR-TB cases were identified based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Meta-analysis was performed using the individual data of 121 patients with a definite treatment outcome (cure, completion, death or failure). Most MDR-TB cases achieved sputum smear (86 (92.5%) out of 93) and culture (100 (93.5%) out of 107) conversion after treatment with individualised regimens containing linezolid (median (inter-quartile range) times for smear and culture conversions were 43.5 (21-90) and 61 (29-119) days, respectively) and 99 (81.8%) out of 121 patients were successfully treated. No significant differences were detected in the subgroup efficacy analysis (daily linezolid dosage ? 600 mg versus >600 mg). Adverse events were observed in 63 (58.9%) out of 107 patients, of which 54 (68.4%) out of 79 were major adverse events that included anaemia (38.1%), peripheral neuropathy (47.1%), gastro-intestinal disorders (16.7%), optic neuritis (13.2%) and thrombocytopenia (11.8%). The proportion of adverse events was significantly higher when the linezolid daily dosage exceeded 600 mg. The study results suggest an excellent efficacy but also the necessity of caution in the prescription of linezolid.
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