Publications by authors named "Andrea Gutschmidt"

9 Publications

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Immunoglobulin profile and B-cell frequencies are altered with changes in the cellular microenvironment independent of the stimulation conditions.

Immun Inflamm Dis 2020 09 8;8(3):458-467. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Introduction: B-cells are essential in the defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Studies on isolated cells may not accurately reflect the responses that occur in vivo due to the presence of other cells. This study elucidated the influence of microenvironment complexity on B-cell polarization and function in the context of tuberculosis disease.

Methods: B-cell function was tested in whole blood, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and as isolated cells. The different fractions were stimulated and the B-cell phenotype and immunoglobulin profiles analyzed.

Results: The immunoglobulin profile and developmental B-cell frequencies varied for each of the investigated sample types, while in an isolated cellular environment, secretion of immunoglobulin isotypes immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG2, and IgG3 was hampered. The differences in the immunoglobulin profile highlight the importance of cell-cell communication for B-cell activation. Furthermore, a decrease in marginal zone B-cell frequencies and an increase in T1 B-cells was observed following cell isolation, indicating impaired B-cell development in response to in vitro antigenic stimulation in isolation.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that humoral B-cell function and development was impaired likely due to a lack of costimulatory signals from other cell types. Thus, B-cell function should ideally be studied in a PBMC or whole blood fraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iid3.328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416019PMC
September 2020

Distinct serum biosignatures are associated with different tuberculosis treatment outcomes.

Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2019 09 12;118:101859. Epub 2019 Aug 12.

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address:

Biomarkers for TB treatment response and outcome are needed. This study characterize changes in immune profiles during TB treatment, define biosignatures associated with treatment outcomes, and explore the feasibility of predictive models for relapse. Seventy-two markers were measured by multiplex cytokine array in serum samples from 78 cured, 12 relapsed and 15 failed treatment patients from South Africa before and during therapy for pulmonary TB. Promising biosignatures were evaluated in a second cohort from Uganda/Brazil consisting of 17 relapse and 23 cured patients. Thirty markers changed significantly with different response patterns during TB treatment in cured patients. The serum biosignature distinguished cured from relapse patients and a combination of two clinical (time to positivity in liquid culture and BMI) and four immunological parameters (TNF-β, sIL-6R, IL-12p40 and IP-10) at diagnosis predicted relapse with a 75% sensitivity (95%CI 0.38-1) and 85% specificity (95%CI 0.75-0.93). This biosignature was validated in an independent Uganda/Brazil cohort correctly classifying relapse patients with 83% (95%CI 0.58-1) sensitivity and 61% (95%CI 0.39-0.83) specificity. A characteristic biosignature with value as predictor of TB relapse was identified. The repeatability and robustness of these biomarkers require further validation in well-characterized cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tube.2019.101859DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839616PMC
September 2019

Prospective evaluation of host biomarkers other than interferon gamma in QuantiFERON Plus supernatants as candidates for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in symptomatic individuals.

J Infect 2019 09 15;79(3):228-235. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Po Box 241, Cape Town 8000, South Africa. Electronic address:

Background: There is an urgent need for new tools for the diagnosis of TB. We evaluated the usefulness recently described host biomarkers in supernatants from the newest generation of the QuantiFERON test (QuantiFERON Plus) as tools for the diagnosis of active TB.

Methods: We recruited individuals presenting at primary health care clinics in Cape Town, South Africa with symptoms requiring investigation for TB disease, prior to the establishment of a clinical diagnosis. Participants were later classified as TB or other respiratory diseases (ORD) based on the results of clinical and laboratory tests. Using a multiplex platform, we evaluated the concentrations of 37 host biomarkers in QuantiFERON Plus supernatants from study participants as tools for the diagnosis of TB.

Results: Out of 120 study participants, 35(29.2%) were diagnosed with active TB, 69(57.5%) with ORD whereas 16(13.3%) were excluded. 14(11.6%) of the study participants were HIV infected. Although individual host markers showed potential as diagnostic candidates, the main finding of the study was the identification of a six-marker biosignature in unstimulated supernatants (Apo-ACIII, CXCL1, CXCL9, CCL8, CCL-1, CD56) which diagnosed TB with sensitivity and specificity of 73.9%(95% CI; 51.6-87.8) and 87.6%(95% CI; 77.2-94.5), respectively, after leave-one-out cross validation. Combinations between TB-antigen specific biomarkers also showed potential (sensitivity of 77.3% and specificity of 69.2%, respectively), with multiple biomarkers being significantly different between TB patients, Quantiferon Plus Positive and Quantiferon Plus negative individuals with ORD, regardless of HIV status.

Conclusions: Biomarkers detected in QuantiFERON Plus supernatants may contribute to adjunctive diagnosis of TB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2019.07.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692655PMC
September 2019

Safety and Immunogenicity of the Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis BCG Vaccine VPM1002 in HIV-Unexposed Newborn Infants in South Africa.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2017 02 6;24(2). Epub 2017 Feb 6.

Fam-Cru, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa

Tuberculosis is a global threat to which infants are especially vulnerable. Effective vaccines are required to protect infants from this devastating disease. VPM1002, a novel recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine previously shown to be safe and immunogenic in adults, was evaluated for safety in its intended target population, namely, newborn infants in a region with high prevalence of tuberculosis. A total of 48 newborns were vaccinated intradermally with VPM1002 (n = 36) or BCG Danish strain (n = 12) in a phase II open-labeled, randomized trial with a 6-month follow-up period. Clinical and laboratory measures of safety were evaluated during this time. In addition, vaccine-induced immune responses to mycobacteria were analyzed in whole-blood stimulation and proliferation assays. The safety parameters and immunogenicity were comparable in the two groups. Both vaccines induced interleukin-17 (IL-17) responses; however, VPM1002 vaccination led to an increase of CD8 IL-17 T cells at the week 16 and month 6 time points. The incidence of abscess formation was lower for VPM1002 than for BCG. We conclude that VPM1002 is a safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic vaccine in newborn infants, confirming results from previous trials in adults. These results strongly support further evaluation of the safety and efficacy of this vaccination in larger studies. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01479972.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00439-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299117PMC
February 2017

Phenotypically resembling myeloid derived suppressor cells are increased in children with HIV and exposed/infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Eur J Immunol 2017 01 16;47(1):107-118. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department of Biomedical Sciences/SAMRC Centre for Tuberculosis Research/DST and NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Increased disease susceptibility during early life has been linked to immune immaturity, regulatory T-cell/TH2 immune biasing and hyporesponsiveness. The contribution of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) remains uninvestigated. Here, we assessed peripheral MDSC in HIV-infected and -uninfected children with tuberculosis (TB) disease before, during and after TB treatment, along with matched household contacts (HHCs), HIV-exposed, -infected and -uninfected children without recent TB exposure. Serum analytes and enzymes associated with MDSC accumulation/activation/function were measured by colorimetric- and fluorescence arrays. Peripheral frequencies of cells phenotypically resembling MDSCs were significantly increased in HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) and M.tb-infected children, but peaked in children with TB disease and remained high following treatment. MDSC in HIV-infected (HI) children were similar to unexposed uninfected controls; however, HAART-mediated MDSC restoration to control levels could not be disregarded. Increased MDSC frequencies in HHC coincided with enhanced indoleamine-pyrrole-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), whereas increased MDSC in TB cases were linked to heightened IDO and arginase-1. Increased MDSC were paralleled by reduced plasma IP-10 and thrombospondin-2 levels in HEU and significantly increased plasma IL-6 in HI HHC. Current investigations into MDSC-targeted treatment strategies, together with functional analyses of MDSCs, could endorse these cells as novel innate immune regulatory mechanism of infant HIV/TB susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201646658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5233566PMC
January 2017

Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD4+, IFNgamma+, and TNFalpha+ multifunctional memory T cells coexpress GM-CSF.

Cytokine 2008 Aug 7;43(2):143-8. Epub 2008 Jul 7.

Department of Immunology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

Multifunctional T cells expressing several cytokines in parallel are thought to play a crucial role in protection against different infections. To characterize T cell cytokine patterns associated with disease and protection in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection we determined the expression of IFNgamma, IL-2, TNFalpha, and GM-CSF in T cell subpopulations from children with tuberculosis (TB) and healthy latently M. tuberculosis-infected children (LTBI) after short-term in vitro restimulation. We identified CD4(+) effector memory T cells (T(EM)) as the major source of all measured cytokines after antigen-specific restimulation. T(EM) from children with TB expressed higher proportions of IFNgamma, TNFalpha, and IL-2 after Mtb restimulation while no differences were detected for GM-CSF between both study groups. GM-CSF secretion strongly depended on antigen-specific stimulation. Analyses of multiple cytokine patterns revealed that the majority of GM-CSF-positive M. tuberculosis-specific memory T cells coexpressed IFNgamma and TNFalpha therefore showing a characteristic feature of multifunctional T cells. We conclude that children with active TB possess higher proportions of IFNgamma-, TNFalpha-, and/or IL-2-positive T(EM) than children with LTBI while GM-CSF coexpression reveals a novel subpopulation within CD4(+) memory T cells not increased in children with active TB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cyto.2008.05.002DOI Listing
August 2008

Clonal expansion of CD8+ effector T cells in childhood tuberculosis.

J Immunol 2007 Jul;179(2):1331-9

Department of Immunology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, University Hospital Charité, Berlin, Germany.

The role of CD8(+) T cells in human tuberculosis (TB) remains elusive. We analyzed the T cell repertoire and phenotype in 1) children with active TB (< or =4 years), 2) healthy latently Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected children, and 3) noninfected age-matched (tuberculin skin test-negative) controls. Ex vivo phenotyping of T cell subpopulations by flow cytometry revealed a significant increase in the proportion of CD8(+)CD45RO(-)CD62L(-)CD28(-)CD27(-) effector T cells (T(EF)) in the peripheral blood of children with active TB (22.1 vs 9.5% in latently M. tuberculosis-infected children, vs 8.5% in tuberculin skin test-negative controls). Analyses of TCR variable beta-chains revealed markedly skewed repertoires in CD8(+) T(EF) and effector memory T cells. Expansions were restricted to single TCR variable beta-chains in individual donors indicating clonal growth. CDR3 spectratyping and DNA sequencing verified clonal expansion as the cause for CD8(+) effector T cell enrichment in individual TB patients. The most prominent enrichment of highly similar T(EF) clones (>70% of CD8(+) T(EF)) was found in two children with active severe TB. Therefore, clonal expansion of CD8(+) T(EF) occurs in childhood TB with potential impact on course and severity of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.179.2.1331DOI Listing
July 2007

Candidate biomarkers for discrimination between infection and disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2007 Jun 23;85(6):613-21. Epub 2007 Feb 23.

Department of Immunology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Chariteplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is controlled by an efficacious immune response in about 90% of infected individuals who do not develop disease. Although essential mediators of protection, e.g., interferon-gamma, have been identified, these factors are insufficient to predict the outcome of M. tuberculosis infection. As a first step to determine additional biomarkers, we compared gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and M. tuberculosis-infected healthy donors by microarray analysis. Differentially expressed candidate genes were predominantly derived from monocytes and comprised molecules involved in the antimicrobial defense, inflammation, chemotaxis, and intracellular trafficking. We verified differential expression for alpha-defensin 1, alpha-defensin 4, lactoferrin, Fcgamma receptor 1A (cluster of differentiation 64 [CD64]), bactericidal permeability-increasing protein, and formyl peptide receptor 1 by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. Moreover, we identified increased protein expression of CD64 on monocytes from tuberculosis patients. Candidate biomarkers were then assessed for optimal study group discrimination. Using a linear discriminant analysis, a minimal group of genes comprising lactoferrin, CD64, and the Ras-associated GTPase 33A was sufficient for classification of (1) tuberculosis patients, (2) M. tuberculosis-infected healthy donors, and (3) noninfected healthy donors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00109-007-0157-6DOI Listing
June 2007

Ras-associated small GTPase 33A, a novel T cell factor, is down-regulated in patients with tuberculosis.

J Infect Dis 2005 Oct 24;192(7):1211-8. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

Department of Immunology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany.

Ras-associated small GTPases (Rabs) are specific regulators of intracellular vesicle trafficking. Interference with host cell vesicular transport is a hallmark of many intracellular pathogens, including the notable example Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We performed, by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, gene-expression analyses for selected Rab molecules in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from patients with tuberculosis (TB) and healthy control subjects, to identify candidate genes that are critically involved in the host immune response. Comparison revealed significant differences in the expression of genes for Rab13, Rab24, and Rab33A. Rab33A gene expression was down-regulated in patients with TB and was predominantly expressed in CD8+ T cells. We excluded possible influences of differences in T cell percentages between the 2 study groups, demonstrating that Rab33A gene expression changes on the single-cell level. In vitro, Rab33A RNA expression was induced in T cells on activation and by dendritic cells infected with M. tuberculosis. Our findings identify Rab33A as a T cell regulatory molecule in TB and suggest its involvement in disease processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/444428DOI Listing
October 2005