Association of interferon gamma and interleukin 10 genes with tuberculosis in Hong Kong Chinese

H. W. Tso, W. K. Ip, W. P. Chong, C. M. Tam, A. K.S. Chiang, Yu Lung Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin 10(IL-10) are believed to play opposing roles in host immunity against mycobacterial infection. IFN-γ activates macrophages, while IL-10 downregulates the expression of T helper type 1 cytokines, MHC class II antigens and costimulatory molecules on macrophages. Associations of IFN-γ - 179 (G/T), + 874 (A/T), + 875 miscrosatellite CA repeats and + 4766 (C/T), and IL-10 - 1082 (A/G), -819 (C/T) and -592 (C/A) with tuberculosis (TB) were investigated in 385 HIV-negative patients and 451 controls in a Hong Kong Chinese population. The frequency of a low IFN-γ-producing +874 A/A genotype was significantly over-represented in the patient group (P < 0.001, OR = 3.79, 95% CI = 1.93-7.45). We identified 10 alleles in the IFN-γ CA repeats and observed a significant difference in allele frequency distribution between patients and controls (P < 0.001). By grouping alleles into 12 and non-12 CA repeats, the non-12/non-12 genotype yielded a similar significant result (P < 0.001, OR = 4.56, 95% CI = 2.21-9.43) as observed in + 874 A/A genotype. Weak associations of the IL-10 GCC/- genotype (P = 0.04) and the low IFN-γ-producing A/A genotype (P = 0.06) with TB relapse/extrapulmonary cases were found. This study suggests the possible role of interferon gamma in TB susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Immunity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Interferon gamma
  • Interleukin 10
  • Susceptibility
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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