Recombinant gamma interferon for the treatment of pulmonary and mycobacterial diseases.

Idrian García, María T Milanés, Isis Cayón, Yamilet Santos, Carmen Valenzuela, Pedro López, Magalys Valdés, Gaspar Jiménez, Gladys Abreu, Reinaldo B Sánchez, Lidia González, Thelvia Ramos.


An increased antibiotic resistance is described for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and atypical mycobacterial species; therefore, new treatments are required. Immunocompromised patients have increased risk, as demonstrated by complications after BCG vaccination. On the other hand, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a fatal disease, with no therapy available to modify course of the disease. Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) plays an essential role as main activator of cytokine secretion in macrophages, also showing a potent anti-fibrotic effects. To evaluate the adjuvant effect of IFN-γ on these three clinical scenarios, five clinical trials were carried out. Patients treated with IFN gamma had satisfactory response according to clinical, imaging and functional criteria since their first evaluations, significantly improving when compared to the control group receiving placebo in a study of pulmonary atypical mycobacteriosis. Fast sputum conversion was obtained in mycobacterial infections, including tuberculosis. In the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis study, 75% of treated patients were considered as responders (improvement + stable). Here we report the cases of two nursing babies with suppurative regional lymphadenitis caused by BCG, who were successfully treated with recombinant human IFN-γ. Treatment was well tolerated, with most of the adverse reactions corresponding to classical flu-like symptoms produced by the cytokine. We can conclude that IFN-γ is useful and well tolerated as adjuvant therapy in patients with pulmonary mycobacterial diseases or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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Título de la Revista: Biotecnología Aplicada
Volumen: 26
Editorial: Elfos Scientae
Fecha de publicación: 2009