Volume 101, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In this study, we investigated the diagnostic utility of the cytokine profile of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays of patients with suspected tuberculous meningitis (TBM). We prospectively enrolled adult patients with suspected TBM, and CSF specimens were analyzed for 18 cytokines/chemokines and soluble programmed death protein 1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Enzyme-linked immunospot assays were performed on mononuclear cells from the CSF (CSF-MCs) and peripheral blood (PBMCs). A total of 87 patients with meningitis, including 42 TBM-suspected patients and 45 non-TBM patients, were enrolled. Excluding the 32 patients with possible TBM, 10 patients with TBM and 45 patients with non-TBM were finally analyzed. Levels of adenosine deaminase (ADA), interleukin 12 subunit β (IL-12p40), IL-13, macrophage inflammatory protein α (MIP-1α), and soluble PD-1 and PD-L1 in the CSF were significantly higher in the TBM group than in the non-TBM group ( < 0.05). The optimal cutoff values for the sensitivities and specificities of the test methods for diagnosing TBM with small samples of 10 cases of definite or probable TBM were as follows: ADA > 6.95 U/L, 70% and 81%; IL-12p40 > 52.04 pg/mL, 80% and 73%; IL-13 > 0.44 pg/mL, 90% and 47%; MIP-1α > 8.83 pg/mL, 80% and 62%; soluble PD-1 > 35.87 pg/mL, 80% and 63%; soluble PD-L1 > 24.19 pg/mL, 80% and 61%; CSF-MC ELISPOT > 13.5 spots/250,000 CSF-MC, 30% and 91%; and PBMC ELISPOT > 14 spots/250,000 PBMCs, 50% and 78%, respectively. Therefore, CSF IL-12p40, IL-13, MIP-1α, and soluble PD-1 and PD-L1 concentrations appear to be useful adjuncts for diagnosing TBM.


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  • Received : 27 Nov 2018
  • Accepted : 12 May 2019
  • Published online : 01 Jul 2019
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