Alfred J. Crowle, PhD
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Murray's recent review (1) provides a welcome discussion of the role of interferon-gamma as an immune activator of macrophages against microbial pathogens. A small section of it, however, must respectfully be challenged. Contrary to what Murray suggests, interferon-gamma apparently cannot protect against tubercle bacilli or Mycobacterium avium in humans. Knowledge of this important fact can help terminate an interpolative idea that has been contradicted by well-controlled experimental evidence.
In our several years of research on many variations of an in-vitro model of human tuberculosis infection, using macrophages and virulent tubercle bacilli, we have never found interferon-gamma protective (2). In fact,
Crowle AJ. Interferon-Gamma and Mycobacterial Infections. Ann Intern Med. ;109:595–596. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-7-595_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(7):595-596.
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