Candidate biomarkers for discrimination between infection and disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Marc Jacobsen*, Dirk Repsilber, Andrea Gutschmidt, Albert Neher, Knut Feldmann, Hans J. Mollenkopf, Andreas Ziegler, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann

*Corresponding author for this work
173 Citations (Scopus)


Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is controlled by an efficacious immune response in about 90% of infected individuals who do not develop disease. Although essential mediators of protection, e.g., interferon-γ, have been identified, these factors are insufficient to predict the outcome of M. tuberculosis infection. As a first step to determine additional biomarkers, we compared gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and M. tuberculosis-infected healthy donors by microarray analysis. Differentially expressed candidate genes were predominantly derived from monocytes and comprised molecules involved in the antimicrobial defense, inflammation, chemotaxis, and intracellular trafficking. We verified differential expression for alpha-defensin 1, alpha-defensin 4, lactoferrin, Fcγ receptor 1A (cluster of differentiation 64 [CD64]), bactericidal permeability-increasing protein, and formyl peptide receptor 1 by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. Moreover, we identified increased protein expression of CD64 on monocytes from tuberculosis patients. Candidate biomarkers were then assessed for optimal study group discrimination. Using a linear discriminant analysis, a minimal group of genes comprising lactoferrin, CD64, and the Ras-associated GTPase 33A was sufficient for classification of (1) tuberculosis patients, (2) M. tuberculosis-infected healthy donors, and (3) noninfected healthy donors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)613-621
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 06.2007


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