Baseline IL-6 is a biomarker for unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes: a multi-site discovery and validation study

Post Date: 
2021-11-07
Publication: 
The European Respiratory Journal
Summary: 

Pre-treatment IL-6 is a biomarker for unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes independent of disease severity and, improves the performance of risk-prediction models comprising of established clinical predictors.

Background: Biomarkers of unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes are needed to accelerate new drug and regimen development. Whether plasma cytokine levels can predict unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes is unclear.

Methods: We identified and internally validated the association between 20 a-priori selected plasma inflammatory markers and unfavorable treatment outcomes of failure, recurrence and all-cause mortality among adults with drug-sensitive pulmonary tuberculosis in India. We externally validated these findings in two independent cohorts of predominantly diabetic and HIV coinfected tuberculosis patients in India and South Africa, respectively.

Results: Pre-treatment IFN-γ, IL-13 and IL-6 were associated with treatment failure in the discovery analysis. Internal validation confirmed higher pre-treatment IL-6 concentrations among failure cases compared to controls. External validation among predominantly diabetic tuberculosis patients found an association between pre-treatment IL-6 concentrations and subsequent recurrence and death. Similarly, external validation among predominantly HIV coinfected tuberculosis patients found an association between pre-treatment IL-6 concentrations and subsequent treatment failure and death. In a pooled analysis of 363 tuberculosis cases from the Indian and South African validation cohorts, high pre-treatment IL-6 concentrations were associated with higher risk of failure (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.16, 95%CI 1.08-4.33, p=0.02), recurrence (aOR=5.36, 95%CI 2.48-11.57, p<0.001) and death (aOR=4.62, 95%CI 1.95-10.95, p<0.001). Adding baseline IL-6 to a risk-prediction model comprising of low BMI, high smear grade and cavitation improved model performance by 15 percent (C-statistic of 0.66 versus 0.76, p=0.02).

Conclusion: Pre-treatment IL-6 is a biomarker for unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes. Future studies should identify optimal IL-6 concentrations for point-of-care risk prediction.

Citation: 
Gupte AN, Kumar P, Araújo-Pereira M, Kulkarni V, Paradkar M, Pradhan N, Menon P, Chandrasekaran PD, Hanna LE, Yogendra Shivakumar SVB, Rockwood N, Du Bruyn E, Karyakarte R, Gaikwad S, Bollinger R, Golub J, Gupte N, Viswanathan V, Wilkinson RJ, Mave V, Babu S, Kornfeld H, Andrade BB, Gupta A. Baseline IL-6 is a biomarker for unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes: a multi-site discovery and validation study. Eur Respir J. 2021 Oct 28:2100905. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00905-2021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34711538.