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Presence of early secretory antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6)-specific, interferon- gamma -secreting T cells in blood accurately marks tuberculosis infection. In tuberculous pleural effusions from 10 patients with tuberculosis, these cells were concentrated a mean of 15-fold (standard deviation, +/-6-fold), relative to their level in peripheral blood (P=.014), and displayed rapid effector function. Such cells were absent in 8 control patients with nontuberculous pleural disease. The recruitment of ESAT-6-specific T cells to inflamed tuberculous tissue demonstrates their function in vivo and suggests a novel way to diagnose tuberculous pleuritis.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





184 - 187


Adult, Antigens, Bacterial, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Bacterial Proteins, Female, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Lymphocyte Activation, Male, Pleural Effusion, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Tuberculosis, Pleural