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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 271-278

Sera from patients with tuberculosis increase the phagocytic-microbicidal activity of human neutrophils, and ESAT-6 is implicated in the phenomenon

1 Department of Immunology, National School of Biological Sciences, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico
2 Neumology Unit, General Hospital of Mexico “Eduardo Liceaga”, Mexico City, Mexico
3 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico

Correspondence Address:
Oscar Rojas-Espinosa
Departamento de Inmunología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Carpio y Plan de Ayala, Colonia Santo Tomás, 11340 Ciudad de México
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_134_21

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Background: It has been reported that sera from patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (APT) induced nuclear changes in normal neutrophils that included pyknosis, swelling, apoptosis, and production of extracellular traps (NETs). Similar changes were observed with some sera from their household contacts but not with sera from healthy, unrelated individuals. It was suggested that those sera from household contacts that induced neutrophil nuclear changes might correspond to people with subclinical tuberculosis. Thus, our experimental approach might serve to identify individuals with early, ongoing disease. Methods: Nuclear changes in neutrophils were fully evident by 3 h of contact and beyond. Circulating mycobacterial antigens were the most likely candidates for this effect. We wanted to know whether the nuclear changes induced on neutrophils by the sera of APT patients would negatively affect the phagocytic/microbicidal ability of neutrophils exposed to APT sera for short periods. Results: We now provide evidence that short-term contact (30 min) with sera from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis increases several phagocytic parameters of normal neutrophils, including endocytosis, myeloperoxidase levels, production of free reactive oxygen species, phagolysosome fusion, and microbicidal activity on Staphylococcus aureus, with these effects not being observed with sera from healthy donors. We also give evidence that suggests that ESAT-6 and CFP-10 are involved in the phenomenon. Conclusion: We conclude that activation is a stage that precedes lethal nuclear changes in neutrophils and suggests that autologous neutrophils must circulate in an altered state in the APT patients, thus contributing to the pathology of the disease.

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