Potential of adjunctive Mycobacterium w (MIP) immunotherapy in reducing the duration of standard chemotherapy against tuberculosis.
INTRODUCTION: The need to shorten the treatment duration in tuberculosis has always been felt. Immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy has been considered a promising approach for this purpose into tuberculosis. We studied the adjuvant immunotherapeutic activity of Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP or Mw) in combination with conventional chemotherapy using guinea pig of pulmonary tuberculosis infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv via aerosol.
METHODS: Experimental animals treated with standard chemotherapy and immunotherapy (MIP) separately and in combination of both. Guinea pig lungs evaluated following infection and subsequent therapy at predefine time point. Various cytokine mRNA expressions levels were quantified by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR at the 4th, 8th and 12th week post-infection of M. tuberculosis.
RESULTS: We determined the time required for bacterial clearance from guinea pig lungs. Standard chemotherapy (RvCh) compared to the animals where chemotherapy plus Mw immunotherpay (RvChMwT) was given. It took 12 weeks to achieve bacterial clearance in the RvCh group while this was achieved in 8 weeks in RvChMwT group. Pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12p35 and TNF-α) level were higher in RvCh, RvChMwT and RvMwT group, while the IL-10 and TGF-β were suppressed.
CONCLUSION: Cytokine expression level showed that Mw in conjunction with chemotherapy enhances the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12 and TNF-α) and reduces the production and effect of anti-inflammatory cytokines (like IL-10 and TGF-β) thereby restoring the pro-inflammatory / anti-inflammatory cytokines balance. Thus, the present study indicates that subject to rigorous testing by other parameters, Mw (MIP) as adjunct immunotherapy has potential for reducing treatment duration.