2009, Number 3
Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis increases the nitric oxide and TNF-α production in alveolar macrophages from household contacts of tuberculous patients
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ABSTRACTHousehold contacts of patients with tuberculosis seem to be a protected population that develops specific memory against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this work, alveolar macrophages from household contacts and control individuals from community were evaluated for their capability to produce nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in response to the infection with strains H37Ra (non-virulent) and H37Rv (virulent) of M. tuberculosis. Our results showed that production of NO and TNF-a in supernatants of alveolar macrophages cultures from household contacts increased on days 4 and 7. By contrast, NO and TNF-α production was lower in alveolar macrophages from community controls. These results suggest that local production of NO and TNF-α plays an important role in the control of tuberculosis in individuals exposed to the infection.
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