Combination of iron metabolism indexes and tuberculosis-specific antigen/phytohemagglutinin ratio for distinguishing active tuberculosis from latent tuberculosis infection
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Discriminating active tuberculosis (ATB) from latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) remains challenging. The aim of this study was to investigate a diagnostic model based on the combination of iron metabolism and TB-specific antigen/phytohemagglutinin ratio (TBAg/PHA ratio) in T-SPOT.TB assay for differentiation between ATB and LTBI. A total of 345 participants with ATB (n = 191) and LTBI (n = 154) were recruited based on positive T-SPOT.TB results at Tongji hospital between January 2017 and
... ary 2020. Iron metabolism analysis was performed simultaneously. Diagnostic model for distinguishing ATB from LTBI was established according to multivariate logistic regression. TBAg/PHA ratio showed 64.00% sensitivity and 90.10% specificity in distinguishing ATB from LTBI when a threshold of 0.22 was used. All iron metabolism biomarkers in ATB group were significantly different from those in LTBI group. Specifically, serum ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor in ATB were significantly higher than LTBI. On the contrary, serum iron, transferrin, total iron binding capacity, and unsaturated iron binding capacity in ATB were significantly lower than LTBI. The combination of iron metabolism indicators accurately predicted 60.00% of ATB cases and 91.09% of LTBI subjects, respectively. Moreover, the combination of iron metabolism indexes and TBAg/PHA ratio resulted in a sensitivity of 88.80% and specificity of 90.10%, respectively. Furthermore, the performance of models established in Qiaokou cohort was confirmed in Caidian cohort. Our data suggest that the combination of iron metabolism indexes and TBAg/PHA ratio could serve as a biomarker to distinguish ATB from LTBI in T-SPOT-positive individuals.