The Impact of Treatment on the Serum Concentration of Interleukin-1 Beta in Pulmonary Tuberculosis

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in the world. Further elucidation of the pathogenesis and identification of suitable biomarkers of the disease have remained research priorities. Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 β) signaling is known to be high in active tuberculosis. In this study, we followed up a cohort of adult sputum-positive tuberculosis patients and investigated the impact of anti-tuberculosis treatment on the serum concentrations of IL-1 β. The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu. Each participant gave informed consent. Serum concentration of Interleukin-1 was measured before treatment, after 2 months of treatment, and after 6 months of treatment by Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay method. Forty-two tuberculosis patients and 31 healthy volunteers completed the study. The patients had good clinical response to treatment. The mean serum concentration of Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 β) for the patients before treatment was very high (30.20 ± 2.0 pg/mL) compared with those of healthy controls (13.30 ± 1.30). As treatment progressed there was remarkable, progressive and statistically significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the mean IL-1 β serum concentration of the patients: 21.80 ± 1.1 pg/ml after 2 months and 16.96 ± 1.3 pg/mL after 6 months treatment. At the completion of treatment, the mean serum concentration of IL-1 β of the patients was comparable but slightly higher than those of the healthy controls. Serum concentration of Interleukin-1 beta is thus considered a potential host biomarker for active tuberculosis in adult humans.

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