, Volume 30, Issue 11, pp 1541-1542
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Lupus or tuberculosis: which comes first?

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We read with interest the recent proposal by Ghosh and colleagues [1] that tuberculosis (TB) may precipitate lupus in genetically predisposed patients from endemic areas. Many previous studies reported the increase of TB infections in lupus [2, 3]. Lupus and TB are all closely related to the host immunity, and there is a controversy of ‘hen and egg question’ of which comes first. Our authors looked to see which case would precede the other by performing autoimmune target (AIT) test [4], known as an excellent autoantibody test, in patients who were confirmed as TB.

Among 45 TB-infected patients, 27 (60.0%) patients showed positive results in AIT tests. AIT test is an epochal autoantibody test which uses the human macrophage cell (IT-1) as a substrate that is intended to improve the limitation of HEp-2 cell as in the conventional test. It has been commercialized and is being used in South Korea under the name of AIT test since the approval by Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA). Fo ...