Early diagnosis and treatment are important in prevention of tuberculosis (TB) infection. World commonly diagnose pulmonary TB using ZN stain, culture and TST. These tests are either low sensitive or required a long time. Recently intracellular interferon gamma flow cytometry assay has been available for diagnosis of pulmonary TB. We assess this diagnostic method in the diagnosis of pulmonary TB with special concern on its role and interleukin-2 (IL2) as tools to observe the effectiveness of anti-tuberculosis therapy. In our study we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic potential of flow cytometry assay for diagnosis of active pulmonary TB, assess the levels of intracellular Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and IL2 in patients with pulmonary TB as tools to observe the effectiveness of anti-tuberculosis therapy and correlate between the levels of IFN-γ and IL2 in the patients with the clinical and radiological findings. In our study intracellular interferon gamma flow cytometry assay and IL2 release were evaluated for pulmonary TB patients, LTBI persons and healthy control persons. Flow cytometry were done twice for the pulmonary TB patients, first at the start of treatment and second after 3 months of treatment. We confirmed that the intracellular interferon gamma flow cytometry assay after M. tuberculosis-specific stimulation is sufficient to recognize active TB. IL-2 were more frequently observed in latent TB infected individuals in contrast to active TB patients, and declined with advanced stage of TB. Intracellular interferon gamma flow cytometry assay could function as a powerful immunodiagnostic test to explore pulmonary TB and to predict the efficacy of antituberculosis treatment after 3 months of treatment in cases of pulmonary TB while, IL2 cannot be used to monitor the efficacy of antituberculosis treatment but it declined with advanced stage (stage III) of pulmonary TB in compare to stages I and II.
Key words: Intracellular Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), flow cytometry, pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), interleukin-2 (IL2).
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