First characterization of the CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to QuantiFERON-TB Plus

Elisa Petruccioli, Teresa Chiacchio, Ilaria Pepponi, Valentina Vanini, Rocco Urso, Gilda Cuzzi, Lucia Barcellini, Daniela Maria Cirillo, Fabrizio Palmieri, Giuseppe Ippolito, Delia Goletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction QuantiFERON®-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) is the new generation of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test to identify latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). QFT-Plus includes TB1 and TB2 tubes which contain selected Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) peptides designed to stimulate both CD4 and CD8 T-cells. Aim of this study is the flow cytometric characterization of the specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to Mtb antigens contained within QFT-Plus. Methods We enrolled 27 active tuberculosis (TB) patients and 30 LTBI individuals. Following stimulation with TB1 and TB2, antigen-specific T-cells were characterized by flow cytometry. Data were also correlated with the grade of TB severity. Results TB1 mainly elicited a CD4 T-cell response while TB2 induced both CD4 and CD8 responses. Moreover, the TB2-specific CD4 response was detected for both active TB and LTBI patients, whereas the TB2-specific CD8 response was primarily associated with active TB (p = 0.01). Conclusions To our knowledge, we report the first characterization of the CD4 and CD8 T-cell response to QFT-Plus. CD8 T-cell response is mainly due to TB2 stimulation which is largely associated to active TB. These results provide a better knowledge on the use of this assay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-597
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Active TB
  • CD4
  • CD8
  • LTBI
  • QuantiFERON-TB Plus
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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