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Disseminated tuberculosis associated with deficient interleukin-23/tyrosine kinase 2 signalling
  1. Olutobi Ojuawo,
  2. Ryan Allen,
  3. Guy Hagan and
  4. Shahbaz Piracha
  1. Respiratory Medicine, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Olutobi Ojuawo; o.ojuawo{at}


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality globally. The disseminated form of the disease has a worse prognosis and is commonly associated with primary and acquired immunodeficiency states such as HIV/AIDS, post-organ transplant and malnutrition. However, disseminated TB in the context of isolated impaired cellular responses to interleukin (IL)-23 due to tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) deficiency has been rarely reported. We highlight the case of a young woman with pulmonary and central nervous system TB associated with previously undiagnosed IL-23/TYK2 signalling defects causing impaired response to IL-23. A significant clinical improvement was observed after introduction of adjunctive interferon-gamma therapy to her anti-tuberculous medications. This case emphasises the need to broadly evaluate for potential immune deficiencies in poorly responding patients with fully sensitive TB as well as the potential benefits of interferon-gamma therapy in patients with certain immune defects.

  • Tuberculosis
  • Immunological products and vaccines
  • Immunology

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  • Contributors All the authors were involved in the management of the patient. OO wrote the initial draft. SP, RA and GH made corrections and revised the initial draft. RA was involved in taking consent from the patient. All authors read and approved the final draft of the manuscript for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.