Accurate detection and risk stratification of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remains a major clinical and public health problem. We hypothesize that multiparameter strategies that probe immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis can provide new diagnostic insights into not only the status of LTBI infection, but also the risk of reactivation. After the initial proof-of-concept study, we developed a 13-plex immunoassay panel to profile cytokine release from peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated separately with Mtb-relevant and non-specific antigens to identify putative biomarker signatures. We sequentially enrolled 65 subjects with various risk of TB exposure, including 32 subjects with diagnosis of LTBI. Random Forest feature selection and statistical data reduction methods were applied to determine cytokine levels across different normalized stimulation conditions. Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis for full and reduced feature sets revealed differences in biomarkers signatures for LTBI status and reactivation risk designations. The reduced set for increased risk included IP-10, IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-15, IL-17, CCL3, and CCL8 under varying normalized stimulation conditions. ROC curves determined predictive accuracies of > 80% for both LTBI diagnosis and increased risk designations. Our study findings suggest that a multiparameter diagnostic approach to detect normalized cytokine biomarker signatures might improve risk stratification in LTBI.
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