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Case Reports in Immunology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9165641, 4 pages
Case Report

Differential Impairment of Interferon-γ Responses in Two Cases of Pulmonary Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Disease

1University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
2Academic Unit of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton and Southampton NIHR Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Southampton, UK
3Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
4National Institute for Health Research, Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK

Received 13 July 2016; Revised 13 October 2016; Accepted 26 October 2016

Academic Editor: Jiri Litzman

Copyright © 2016 William Rae et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs) are weakly virulent intracellular pathogens that are common in food and water supplies. The persistent culture of these organisms in the setting of clinical infection warrants investigation of immune function. In cases of isolated pulmonary NTM (PNTM) disease, underlying immune defects have not been clearly identified. We present two patients with isolated PNTM infection who demonstrated differentially impaired IFN-γ production across a range of stimuli. These cases show that cellular IFN-γ responses may be defective in a proportion of patient suffering PNTM disease and that when assessing responses, the stimulant used in the testing is important to delineate defective cell populations. Impaired IFN-γ responses to IL-12 + BCG seem to be a poor prognostic indicator in PNTM disease and in these cases were not improved by adjuvant IFN-γ.