Mycobacterium kansasii Infection in a Patient Receiving Biologic Therapy—Not All Reactive Interferon Gamma Release Assays Are Tuberculosis

Nasir Saleem, Raya Saba, Srikanth Maddika, Mitchell Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mycobacterium kansasii, a nontuberculous mycobacterium, can lead to lung disease similar to tuberculosis. Immunotherapeutic biologic agents predispose to infections with mycobacteria, including M kansasii. T-cell–mediated interferon gamma release assays like QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test (QFT) are widely used by clinicians for the diagnosis of infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis; however, QFT may also show positive result with certain nontuberculous mycobacterial infections. We report a case of M kansasii pulmonary infection, with a positive QFT, in an immunocompromised patient receiving prednisone, leflunomide and tocilizumab, a humanized anti–interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody. This case highlights the risk of mycobacterial infections with the use of various biologic agents and the need for caution when interpreting the results of interferon gamma release assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-397
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Volume353
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biologic therapy
  • Mycobacterium kansasii
  • QuantiFERON-TB
  • Tocilizumab

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