Table of Contents
Journal of Biomarkers
Volume 2013, Article ID 196432, 10 pages
Review Article

Neopterin in Diagnosis and Monitoring of Infectious Diseases

Paediatric Department, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lewsey Road, Luton LU40DZ, UK

Received 10 August 2013; Accepted 28 October 2013

Academic Editor: Yvan Devaux

Copyright © 2013 Michael Eisenhut. 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.


Neopterin is produced by activated monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells upon stimulation by interferon gamma produced by T-lymphocytes. Quantification of neopterin in body fluids has been achieved by standard high-performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassays, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Neopterin levels predict HIV-related mortality more efficiently than clinical manifestations. Successful highly active antiretroviral therapy is associated with a decrease in neopterin levels. Elevated neopterin levels were associated with hepatitis by hepatitis A, B, and C viruses. Serum neopterin levels were found to be a predictor of response to treatment of chronic HCV infection with pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin. Neopterin levels of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis were found to be higher in patients with more extensive radiological changes. Elimination of blood donors with elevated neopterin levels to reduce risk of transmission of infections with known and unknown viral pathogens has been undertaken. Neopterin measurement is hereby more cost effective but less sensitive than screening using polymerase chain reaction based assays. In conclusion neopterin is a nonspecific marker of activated T-helper cell 1 dominated immune response. It may be a useful marker for monitoring of infectious disease activity during treatment and for more accurate estimation of extent of disease and prognosis.