What is the role of immune therapy in treatment of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria disease?
Interferon-gamma (also referred to as IFN gamma, or IFN-γ) is a "cytokine" that plays an important role in promoting immune responses. The absence of interferon gamma significantly predisposes individuals to microbial infection.
Can interferon gamma treatment (injected, inhaled/nebulized) destroy invading mycobacteria, even in the worst disseminated cases, with minimal side effects? Deficiency in interferon gamma makes individuals more susceptible to mycobacterial infections. There are many herbal and dietary supplements proven in studies to increase interferon gamma production. Probiotic (friendly) bacteria may also restore or improve interferon gamma production. However, antibiotic therapy prescribed for NTM disease typically kills most beneficial bacteria. Use of interferon gamma to successfully treat and and clear mycobacterial infections was known as far back as the 1990s.
Adjuvant interferon gamma in patients with pulmonary atypical Mycobacteriosis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
"At the end of treatment, 72% of patients treated with IFN gamma were evaluated as complete responders, but only 36% in the placebo group. The difference was maintained during follow-up. A more rapid complete response was obtained in the IFN group (5 months before), with a significantly earlier improvement in respiratory symptoms and pulmonary lesions reduction. Disease-related deaths were 35.7% of the patients in the placebo group and only 11.1% in the IFN group."
Treatment of Refractory Disseminated Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infection With Interferon Gamma: A Preliminary Report
"... cytokine signals to monocytes or macrophages by interferon gamma are important in the containment and clearance of disseminated nontuberculous mycobacterial infections."
Molecular Epidemiology of Mycobacterium abscessus, with Focus on Cystic Fibrosis
"The M. abscessus strain developed in vitro resistance to all tolerated drugs, but the patient was given gamma interferon with clinical effect. The M. abscessus strain was never eradicated, but this patient has been without mycobacterial treatment for the past 5 years."
Treatment of Refractory Disseminated Mycobacterium abscessus Infection With Interferon Gamma Therapy
Inhaled IFN-gamma for persistent nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease due to functional IFN-gamma deficiency
Defects in the interferon-gamma and interleukin-12 pathways
The interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)/interleukin-12 (IL-12) pathway is a pivotal player in the immune system and is central to controlling mycobacterial infections.
Importance of T cells, gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor in immune control of the rapid grower Mycobacterium abscessus in C57BL/6 mice
Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD)
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/mendel … eases-msmd
EDITOR'S NOTE: what was the outcome of this clinical trial?
Adjuvant Cytokine Therapy to Treat Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium Complex Infection
Stimulation with cytokines enhances penetration of azithromycin into human macrophages
Mycobacterium tuberculosis inhibits IFN-gamma transcriptional responses without inhibiting activation of STAT1
Probiotic restores immune response in athletes
http://news.oneindia.in/2006/05/18/prob … 49407.html
Vitamin D is required for IFN-gamma-mediated antimicrobial activity of human macrophages
IFN-gamma- and TNF-independent vitamin D-inducible human suppression of mycobacteria: the role of cathelicidin LL-37
Adjunctive therapy with interferon-gamma for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis: a systematic review.
"CONCLUSION: Adjuvant therapy using IFN-γ, especially by aerosol, might be beneficial to TB patients…"
Interferon May Lead to New Option for Treating TB
"Overall, results showed that those on IFN-g had better improvements in their general health and immune responses compared to placebo. IFN-g appeared to be well tolerate..."
EDITOR'S NOTE: See our blog post and discussion about the following article at:
Protein proves to be vital in immune response to bacteria
"A mutation in the gene that codes for the protein ISG15 was found to increase susceptibility to infection by mycobacteria, a group of bacteria that cause a range of disorders, the most common of which are tuberculosis and leprosy."
"When Bogunovic added the ISG15 protein to the blood samples, interferon-gamma levels shot up."