IMR Press / FBL / Volume 17 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/4079

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Immunotherapy for tuberculosis: what's the better choice?
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1 Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, 400016, China
Academic Editor:Fei He
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2012, 17(7), 2684–2690;
Published: 1 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular immunology and stem cell biology)

A Th1/Th2 imbalance in tuberculosis (TB) patients caused by a decreased Th1 response and an increased Th2 response is a significant factor in the pathogenesis and development of TB. Protective immune responses to TB include bacteriostatic and bactericidal responses. Unfortunately, however, immunoprotection and immune pathology co-exist in TB patients. Immunotherapy for TB principally aims to restore the Th1/Th2 balance by enhancing the Th1 response and suppressing the excessive Th2 response. Immunotherapy for TB can be classified into three categories: immune-enhancing therapy using cytokines, immunosuppressive therapy, and immunomodulatory therapy. Immunomodulatory therapy targets the Th1/Th2 imbalance and includes cytokine regulation therapy, antibody regulation therapy, a multi-dose heat-inactivated Mycobacterium vaccae vaccine, thymosin hormones and a DNA vaccine. A new approach in supplementary TB immunotherapy is to simultaneously up-regulate the Th1 response and down-regulate the Th2 response. While immunotherapy can contribute to TB treatment, it may also cause immunopathological injury. Therefore, immunotherapy needs to be improved and further studied to maximize its potential.

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