Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Tuberculosis is a public health problem that still remains significant. For prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis more effective novel biomarkers are needed. MicroRNAs can regulate innate and adaptive immune responses, alter host-pathogen interactions, and affect progression of diseases. The relationship between microRNA expression and active pulmonary tuberculosis (APT) has not yet been investigated in the Turkish population. We aimed to test the potential diagnostic value of some microRNAs whose levels were previously reported to be altered in APT patients. Materials and methods: Using two different references (U6 and miR-93), we compared the expression levels of potentially important microRNAs in serum of APT patients with healthy individuals using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Results: miR-144 expression level was down-regulated in APT patients when either U6 or miR-93 was used for normalization. When data was normalized with miR-93, a statistically significant decrease in miR-125b (0.8 fold) and miR-146a (0.7 fold) expression levels were observed, while no differences were detected for U6. The receiver operating characteristic suggested that miR-144 may be a candidate biomarker for discriminating APT patients and controls (p < 0.05) both for U6 and miR-93. Conclusion: These findings suggest that miR-144 can have potential as a biomarker for APT. Using a single reference may be misleading in evaluation of microRNA expression. U6 and miR-93 can be used in combination as references for normalization of serum microRNA expression data.


Circulating-microRNAs, active pulmonary tuberculosis, biomarker, Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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