Can Immunotherapy Improve TB Treatment?February 1, 2017 at 12:02 am
By Paul Schumacker, PhD, editor, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Follow Dr. Schumacker on Twitter @ATSRedEditor
Can the addition of immunotherapy to standard antibiotic treatment improve tuberculosis therapy? In a February American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology article, researchers report that in a mouse model of pulmonary tuberculosis, combining three clinically approved immunotherapy agents (all-trans-retinoic acid, 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3, and α-galactosylceramide) with three antibiotics (isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide) resulted in lower mycobacterial loads after five weeks of treatment and significantly reduced relapse after a 13-week course of treatment, compared to antibiotic treatment alone. The researchers also analyzed cellular changes and cytokine expression and found that mice being treated with immunotherapy as well as antibiotics showed reduced accumulation of immature myeloid cells in the lungs and increased TNF-α protein levels.