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VOLUME 53 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2011 ) > List of Articles


Immune Responses to Mycobacterial Antigens in Sarcoidosis: A Systematic Review

D. Gupta, R. Agarwal, A.N. Aggarwal, Indu Verma

Keywords : Sarcoidosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, IGRA, T-cell responses, B-cell responses

Citation Information : Gupta D, Agarwal R, Aggarwal A, Verma I. Immune Responses to Mycobacterial Antigens in Sarcoidosis: A Systematic Review. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2011; 53 (1):41-50.

DOI: 10.5005/ijcdas-53-1-41

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 10-06-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2011; The Author(s).


From the time sarcoidosis has been described, there has always been a viewpoint that the disease is in some way related to tuberculosis (TB). Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disease, which is likely a result of continued presentation of a poorly degradable antigen. Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been a very strong contender for this antigen. Besides the molecular studies demonstrating mycobacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the sarcoid tissue, assessment of immune responses against mycobacterial antigens provides a useful tool to study the role of mycobacteria in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. We reviewed the studies focussing on T-cell and B-cell responses to tubercular antigens in patients with sarcoidosis. Pooled data from various studies does provide a suggestive, though not unequivocal evidence in favour of mycobacteria as a cause of sarcoidosis. These findings not only reinforce the possible pathogenic role of mycobacterial antigens in sarcoidosis, but at the same time also limit the clinical utility of molecular and serological studies based on mycobacterial antigens in the differential diagnosis of TB from sarcoidosis, particularly in a country with high endemicity for TB.

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