Geography, Mumps Linked To Tuberculosis In HIV-Infected Patients, Say Henry Ford Hospital Researchers

January 14, 1997

DETROIT -- Men and women with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a higher incidence of tuberculosis if they live in the eastern United States or test positive for mumps, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

The scientists report in the Jan. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine that patients in the eastern United States were at increased risk for tuberculosis (TB) especially if they had low levels of CD4 cells, which indicate the general health of an individual's immune system.

"This study gives us some key indicators that could help physicians develop strategies to prevent tuberculosis infection or halt disease outbreak once infection has occurred," says one of the study's principal investigators Paul Kvale, M.D., a senior staff physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.

"Since HIV-infected patients are at a 50-to-200 times greater risk of contracting tuberculosis, the findings can help attack a very real threat in the fight against AIDS," Dr. Kvale adds.

Researchers in the multi-center study examined 1,130 HIV-positive patients in Detroit, New York, Newark, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles from 1988-94. Of the 31 study participants diagnosed with TB, nearly 25 percent of died from the disease.

Scientists tested patients using the purified protein derivative (PPD) skin test, the standard method to detect TB. But in some instances, PPD tests fail to show exposure to TB, especially in patients with suppressed immune system like those with HIV. The disease, therefore, can advance undetected.

"Because TB is an infectious disease that can rapidly progress and lead to death, any finding regarding risk or prevention is significant," Dr. Kvale says.

TB is an opportunistic, air-borne disease that is highly contagious. Its symptoms usually include fever, night sweats, difficulty in breathing and a deep, hacking cough. It also can originate in organs other than the lungs.

Researchers say further studies are needed to look for ways to prevent the spread of TB within high risk populations.

Henry Ford Health System

Related Immune System Articles from Brightsurf:

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen.

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?
Researchers highlight the anti-inflammatory response taking place after birth and designed to shield the newborn from infection.

Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen.

Immune system may have another job -- combatting depression
An inflammatory autoimmune response within the central nervous system similar to one linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been found in the spinal fluid of healthy people, according to a new Yale-led study comparing immune system cells in the spinal fluid of MS patients and healthy subjects.

COVID-19: Immune system derails
Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction - rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

Immune cell steroids help tumours suppress the immune system, offering new drug targets
Tumours found to evade the immune system by telling immune cells to produce immunosuppressive steroids.

Immune system -- Knocked off balance
Instead of protecting us, the immune system can sometimes go awry, as in the case of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.

Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.

How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.

Read More: Immune System News and Immune System Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to