Soluble CD14 as a diagnostic biomarker for smear-negative HIV-associated tuberculosis

Yanyan Liu, Okechukwu C. Ndumnego, Tingting Chen, Ryung S. Kim, Elizabeth R. Jenny-Avital, Thumbi Ndung’u, Douglas Wilson, Jacqueline M. Achkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sputum smear-negative HIV-associated active tuberculosis (TB) is challenging to diagnose. CD14 is a pattern recognition receptor that is known to mediate monocyte activation. Prior studies have shown increased levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14) as a potential biomarker for TB, but little is known about its value in detecting smear-negative HIV-associated TB. We optimized a sandwich ELISA for the detection of sCD14, and tested sera from 56 smear-negative South African (39 culture-positive and 17 culture-negative) HIV-infected pulmonary TB patients and 24 South African and 43 US (21 positive and 22 negative for tuberculin skin test, respectively) HIV-infected controls. SCD14 concentrations were significantly elevated in smear-negative HIV-associated TB compared with the HIV-infected controls (p < 0.0001), who had similar concentrations, irrespective of the country of origin or the presence or absence of latent M. tuberculosis infection (p = 0.19). The culture-confirmed TB group had a median sCD14 level of 2199 ng/mL (interquartile range 1927–2719 ng/mL), versus 1148 ng/mL (interquartile range 1053–1412 ng/mL) for the South African controls. At a specificity of 96%, sCD14 had a sensitivity of 95% for culture-confirmed smear-negative TB. These data indicate that sCD14 could be a highly accurate biomarker for the detection of HIV-associated TB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Biomarker
  • C-reactive protein
  • CD14
  • Diagnostics
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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