Integrative Multi-Omics Reveals Serum Markers of Tuberculosis in Advanced HIV

on behalf of the ACTG A5274 REMEMBER NWCS 414 Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tuberculosis (TB) accounts for disproportionate morbidity and mortality among persons living with HIV (PLWH). Conventional methods of TB diagnosis, including smear microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF, have lower sensitivity in PLWH. Novel high-throughput approaches, such as miRNAomics and metabolomics, may advance our ability to recognize subclinical and difficult-to-diagnose TB, especially in very advanced HIV. We conducted a case-control study leveraging REMEMBER, a multi-country, open-label randomized controlled trial comparing 4-drug empiric standard TB treatment with isoniazid preventive therapy in PLWH initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) with CD4 cell counts <50 cells/μL. Twenty-three cases of incident TB were site-matched with 32 controls to identify microRNAs (miRNAs), metabolites, and cytokines/chemokines, associated with the development of newly diagnosed TB in PLWH. Differentially expressed miRNA analysis revealed 11 altered miRNAs with a fold change higher than 1.4 or lower than -1.4 in cases relative to controls (p<0.05). Our analysis revealed no differentially abundant metabolites between cases and controls. We found higher TNFα and IP-10/CXCL10 in cases (p=0.011, p=0.0005), and higher MDC/CCL22 in controls (p=0.0072). A decision-tree algorithm identified gamma-glutamylthreonine and hsa-miR-215-5p as the optimal variables to classify incident TB cases (AUC 0.965; 95% CI 0.925-1.000). hsa-miR-215-5p, which targets genes in the TGF-β signaling pathway, was downregulated in cases. Gamma-glutamylthreonine, a breakdown product of protein catabolism, was less abundant in cases. To our knowledge, this is one of the first uses of a multi-omics approach to identify incident TB in severely immunosuppressed PLWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number676980
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Jun 8 2021


  • HIV
  • biomarker
  • metabolomics
  • microRNA
  • multi-omics
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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