Publications by authors named "Elizna Maasdorp"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Targeting of myeloid-derived suppressor cells by all-trans retinoic acid as host-directed therapy for human tuberculosis.

Cell Immunol 2021 Jun 8;364:104359. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

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 Medical and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address:

Conventional anti-tuberculosis (TB) therapies comprise lengthy antibiotic treatment regimens, exacerbated by multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant mycobacterial strains. We assessed the ability of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), as repurposed compound serving as host-directed therapy (HDT), to counteract the suppressive effects of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) obtained from active TB cases (untreated or during week one of treatment) on T-cell responsiveness. We show for the first time that MDSCs suppress non-specific T-cell activation and production of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-13 and GM-CSF via contact-dependent mechanisms. ATRA treatment decreases MDSC frequency, but fails to mature MDSCs to non-suppressive, terminally differentiated myeloid cells and does not restore T-cell function or cytokine production in the presence of MDSCs. The impact of ATRA treatment on improved immunity, using the concentration tested here, is likely to be minimal, but further identification and development of MDSC-targeting TB host-directed therapies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellimm.2021.104359DOI Listing
June 2021

The Peripheral Blood Transcriptome Is Correlated With PET Measures of Lung Inflammation During Successful Tuberculosis Treatment.

Front Immunol 2020 10;11:596173. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is characterized by lung granulomas, inflammation and tissue destruction. Here we used within-subject peripheral blood gene expression over time to correlate with the within-subject lung metabolic activity, as measured by positron emission tomography (PET) to identify biological processes and pathways underlying overall resolution of lung inflammation. We used next-generation RNA sequencing and [F]FDG PET-CT data, collected at diagnosis, week 4, and week 24, from 75 successfully cured PTB patients, with the [F]FDG activity as a surrogate for lung inflammation. Our linear mixed-effects models required that for each individual the slope of the line of [F]FDG data in the outcome and the slope of the peripheral blood transcript expression data correlate, i.e., the slopes of the outcome and explanatory variables had to be similar. Of 10,295 genes that changed as a function of time, we identified 639 genes whose expression profiles correlated with decreasing [F]FDG uptake levels in the lungs. Gene enrichment over-representation analysis revealed that numerous biological processes were significantly enriched in the 639 genes, including several well known in TB transcriptomics such as platelet degranulation and response to interferon gamma, thus validating our novel approach. Others not previously associated with TB pathobiology included smooth muscle contraction, a set of pathways related to mitochondrial function and cell death, as well as a set of pathways connecting transcription, translation and vesicle formation. We observed up-regulation in genes associated with B cells, and down-regulation in genes associated with platelet activation. We found 254 transcription factor binding sites to be enriched among the 639 gene promoters. In conclusion, we demonstrated that of the 10,295 gene expression changes in peripheral blood, only a subset of 639 genes correlated with inflammation in the lungs, and the enriched pathways provide a description of the biology of resolution of lung inflammation as detectable in peripheral blood. Surprisingly, resolution of PTB inflammation is positively correlated with smooth muscle contraction and, extending our previous observation on mitochondrial genes, shows the presence of mitochondrial stress. We focused on pathway analysis which can enable therapeutic target discovery and potential modulation of the host response to TB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.596173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902901PMC
February 2021

Correlating arterial blood gas, acid-base and blood pressure abnormalities with outcomes in COVID-19 intensive care patients.

Ann Clin Biochem 2021 03 20;58(2):95-101. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: During the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many studies have investigated laboratory biomarkers in management and prognostication of COVID-19 patients, however to date, few have investigated arterial blood gas, acid-base and blood pressure patterns. The aim of the study is to assess the arterial blood gas and acid-base patterns, blood pressure findings and their association with the outcomes of COVID-19 patients admitted to an intensive care unit.

Methods: A single-centre retrospective, observational study in a dedicated COVID-19 intensive care unit in Cape Town, South Africa. Admission arterial blood gas, serum electrolytes, renal function and blood pressure readings performed on COVID-19 patients admitted between 26 March and 2 June 2020 were analysed and compared between survivors and non-survivors.

Results: A total of 56 intensive care unit patients had admission arterial blood gas performed at the time of intensive care unit admission. An alkalaemia (pH > 7.45) was observed in 36 (64.3%) patients. A higher arterial pH (median 7.48 [interquartile range: 7.45-7.51] versus 7.46 [interquartile range: 7.40-7.48],  = 0.049) and partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (median 7.9 kPa [interquartile range: 7.3-9.6] versus 6.5 kPa [interquartile range: 5.2-7.3],  = <0.001) were significantly associated with survival. Survivors also tended to have a higher systolic blood pressure (median: 144 mmHg [interquartile range: 134-152] versus 139 mmHg [interquartile range: 125-142],  = 0.078) and higher arterial HCO (median: 28.0 mmol/L [interquartile range: 25.7-28.8] versus 26.3 mmol/L [interquartile range: 24.3-27.9],  = 0.059).

Conclusions: The majority of the study population admitted to intensive care unit had an alkalaemia on arterial blood gas. A higher pH and lower partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood on arterial blood gas analysis were significantly associated with survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0004563220972539DOI Listing
March 2021

Transition from Restrictive to Obstructive Lung Function Impairment During Treatment and Follow-Up of Active Tuberculosis.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2020 11;15:1039-1047. Epub 2020 May 11.

University of Cape Town Lung Institute, and Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is associated with many forms of chronic lung disease including the development of chronic airflow obstruction (AFO). However, the nature, evolution and mechanisms responsible for the AFO after PTB are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the progression of changes in lung physiology in patients treated for PTB.

Methods: Immunocompetent, previously healthy, adult patients receiving ambulatory treatment for a first episode of tuberculosis were prospectively followed up with serial lung physiology and quantitative computed tomography (CT) lung scans performed at diagnosis of tuberculosis, 2, 6, 12 and 18 months during and after the completion of treatment.

Results: Forty-nine patients (median age 26 years; 37.2% males) were included, and 43 were studied. During treatment, lung volumes improved and CT fibrosis scores decreased, but features of AFO and gas trapping emerged, while reduced diffusing capacity (DLco) seen in a majority of patients persisted. Significant increases in total lung capacity (TLC) by plethysmography were seen in the year following treatment completion (median change 5.9% pred., P<0.01) and were driven by large increases in residual volume (RV) (median change +19%pred., P<0.01) but not inspiratory capacity (IC; P=0.41). The change in RV/TLC correlated with significant progression of radiological gas trapping after treatment (P=0.04) but not with emphysema scores. One year after completing treatment, 18.6% of patients had residual restriction (total lung capacity, TLC <80%pred), 16.3% had AFO, 32.6% had gas trapping (RV/TLC>45%), and 78.6% had reduced DLco.

Conclusion: Simple spirometry alone does not fully reveal the residual respiratory impairments resulting after a first episode of PTB. Changes in physiology evolve after treatment completion, and these findings when taken together, suggest emergence of gas trapping after treatment likely caused by progression of small airway pathology during the healing process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S219731DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227812PMC
May 2020

Quantitative 18F-FDG PET-CT scan characteristics correlate with tuberculosis treatment response.

EJNMMI Res 2020 Feb 10;10(1). Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation, Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research and South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: There is a growing interest in the use of F-18 FDG PET-CT to monitor tuberculosis (TB) treatment response. Tuberculosis lung lesions are often complex and diffuse, with dynamic changes during treatment and persisting metabolic activity after apparent clinical cure. This poses a challenge in quantifying scan-based markers of burden of disease and disease activity. We used semi-automated, whole lung quantification of lung lesions to analyse serial FDG PET-CT scans from the Catalysis TB Treatment Response Cohort to identify characteristics that best correlated with clinical and microbiological outcomes.

Results: Quantified scan metrics were already associated with clinical outcomes at diagnosis and 1 month after treatment, with further improved accuracy to differentiate clinical outcomes after standard treatment duration (month 6). A high cavity volume showed the strongest association with a risk of treatment failure (AUC 0.81 to predict failure at diagnosis), while a suboptimal reduction of the total glycolytic activity in lung lesions during treatment had the strongest association with recurrent disease (AUC 0.8 to predict pooled unfavourable outcomes). During the first year after TB treatment lesion burden reduced; but for many patients, there were continued dynamic changes of individual lesions.

Conclusions: Quantification of FDG PET-CT images better characterised TB treatment outcomes than qualitative scan patterns and robustly measured the burden of disease. In future, validated metrics may be used to stratify patients and help evaluate the effectiveness of TB treatment modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13550-020-0591-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010890PMC
February 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

Diabetes screen during tuberculosis contact investigations highlights opportunity for new diabetes diagnosis and reveals metabolic differences between ethnic groups.

Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2018 12 18;113:10-18. Epub 2018 Aug 18.

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; Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Electronic address:

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a prevalent risk factor for tuberculosis (TB), but most studies on TB-T2D have focused on TB patients, been limited to one community, and shown a variable impact of T2D on TB risk or treatment outcomes. We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of sociodemographic and metabolic factors in adult TB contacts with T2D (versus no T2D), from the Texas-Mexico border to study Hispanics, and in Cape Town to study South African Coloured ethnicities. The prevalence of T2D was 30.2% in Texas-Mexico and 17.4% in South Africa, with new diagnosis in 34.4% and 43.9%, respectively. Contacts with T2D differed between ethnicities, with higher smoking, hormonal contraceptive use and cholesterol levels in South Africa, and higher obesity in Texas-Mexico (p < 0.05). PCA analysis revealed striking differences between ethnicities in the relationships between factors defining T2D and dyslipidemias. Our findings suggest that screening for new T2D in adult TB contacts is effective to identify new T2D patients at risk for TB. Furthermore, studies aimed at predicting individual TB risk in T2D patients, should take into account the heterogeneity in dyslipidemias that are likely to modify the estimates of TB risk or adverse treatment outcomes that are generally attributed to T2D alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tube.2018.08.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6284235PMC
December 2018

Persisting positron emission tomography lesion activity and Mycobacterium tuberculosis mRNA after tuberculosis cure.

Nat Med 2016 10 5;22(10):1094-1100. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

National Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.

The absence of a gold standard to determine when antibiotics induce a sterilizing cure has confounded the development of new approaches to treat pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). We detected positron emission tomography and computerized tomography (PET-CT) imaging response patterns consistent with active disease, along with the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) mRNA in sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage samples, in a substantial proportion of adult, HIV-negative patients with PTB after a standard 6-month treatment plus 1 year follow-up, including patients with a durable cure and others who later developed recurrent disease. The presence of MTB mRNA in the context of nonresolving and intensifying lesions on PET-CT images might indicate ongoing transcription, suggesting that even apparently curative treatment for PTB may not eradicate all of the MTB bacteria in most patients. This suggests an important complementary role for the immune response in maintaining a disease-free state. Sterilizing drugs or host-directed therapies, and better treatment response markers, are probably needed for the successful development of improved and shortened PTB-treatment strategies.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5053881PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.4177DOI Listing
October 2016

Diagnostic Potential of Novel Salivary Host Biomarkers as Candidates for the Immunological Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Disease and Monitoring of Tuberculosis Treatment Response.

PLoS One 2016 3;11(8):e0160546. Epub 2016 Aug 3.

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

Background: There is an urgent need for new tools for the early diagnosis of TB disease and monitoring of the response to treatment, especially in resource-constrained settings. We investigated the usefulness of host markers detected in saliva as candidate biomarkers for the immunological diagnosis of TB disease and monitoring of treatment response.

Methods: We prospectively collected saliva samples from 51 individuals that presented with signs and symptoms suggestive of TB disease at a health centre in Cape Town, South Africa, prior to the establishment of a clinical diagnosis. Patients were later classified as having TB disease or other respiratory disease (ORD), using a combination of clinical, radiological and laboratory findings. We evaluated the concentrations of 69 host markers in saliva samples using a multiplex cytokine platform, and assessed the diagnostic potentials of these markers by receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curve analysis, and general discriminant analysis.

Results: Out of the 51 study participants, 18 (35.4%) were diagnosed with TB disease and 12 (23.5%) were HIV infected. Only two of the 69 host markers that were evaluated (IL-16 and IL-23) diagnosed TB disease individually with area under the ROC curve ≥0.70. A five-marker biosignature comprising of IL-1β, IL-23, ECM-1, HCC1 and fibrinogen diagnosed TB disease with a sensitivity of 88.9% (95% CI,76.7-99.9%) and specificity of 89.7% (95% CI, 60.4-96.6%) after leave-one-out cross validation, regardless of HIV infection status. Eight-marker biosignatures performed with a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI, 83.2-100%) and specificity of 95% (95% CI, 68.1-99.9%) in the absence of HIV infection. Furthermore, the concentrations of 11 of the markers changed during treatment, indicating that they may be useful in monitoring of TB treatment response.

Conclusion: We have identified novel salivary biosignatures which may be useful in the diagnosis of TB disease and monitoring of the response to TB treatment. Our findings require further validation in larger studies before these biosignatures could be considered for point-of-care screening test development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0160546PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4972428PMC
August 2017

The Functional Response of B Cells to Antigenic Stimulation: A Preliminary Report of Latent Tuberculosis.

PLoS One 2016 6;11(4):e0152710. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

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

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) remains a successful pathogen, causing tuberculosis disease numbers to constantly increase. Although great progress has been made in delineating the disease, the host-pathogen interaction is incompletely described. B cells have shown to function as both effectors and regulators of immunity via non-humoral methods in both innate and adaptive immune settings. Here we assessed specific B cell functional interaction following stimulation with a broad range of antigens within the LTBI milieu. Our results indicate that B cells readily produce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (including IL-1β, IL-10, IL-17, IL-21 and TNF-α) in response to stimulation. TLR4 and TLR9 based stimulations achieved the greatest secreted cytokine-production response and BCG stimulation displayed a clear preference for inducing IL-1β production. We also show that the cytokines produced by B cells are implicated strongly in cell-mediated communication and that plasma (memory) B cells (CD19+CD27+CD138+) is the subset with the greatest contribution to cytokine production. Collectively our data provides insight into B cell responses, where they are implicated in and quantifies responses from specific B cell phenotypes. These findings warrant further functional B cell research with a focus on specific B cell phenotypes under conditions of active TB disease to further our knowledge about the contribution of various cell subsets which could have implications for future vaccine development or refined B cell orientated treatment in the health setting.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0152710PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822853PMC
August 2016