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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 518564, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Plasma Level of IL-4 Differs in Patients Infected with Different Modern Lineages of M. tuberculosis

1Armauer Hansen Research Institute, P.O. Box 1005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, MRC Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, P.O. Box 19063, Francie van Zijl Drive, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa

Received 24 July 2012; Accepted 22 August 2012

Academic Editor: Marcel Tanner

Copyright © 2012 Adane Mihret 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.


Epidemiological evidence from tuberculosis outbreaks revealed that some genotypes of M. tuberculosis are more transmissible and capable of causing disease than others. We analysed the plasma cytokine levels of pulmonary tuberculosis patients infected with different strains of M. tuberculosis to test the hypothesis that immune responses would be linked to the bacterial genotype. Spoligotyping was carried out for genotyping, and we used Luminex technology to measure 17 cytokines (EGF, fractalkine, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-1, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IP-10, MCP-1, MCP-3, MIP-1β, TNF, and VEGF) from plasma samples of tuberculosis patients. The levels of IL-12 (p40), IL-4, IL-7, and MIP-1beta were higher in patients infected with lineage 3, however, it was only IL-4 which showed statistically significant difference ( ) between lineage 3 and lineage 4. We further grouped the lineages into families (CAS, H and T families), and we found that the plasma level of IL-4 was significantly higher in patients infected with the CAS family ( ) in comparison with T and H families. However, there was no difference between T and H families. Therefore, the higher level of IL-4 in lineage 3 families might indicate that possible differences in the response elicited from host depend on strain lineages in the studied population.