Telomere length and mitochondrial DNA copy number in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

Lauma Freimane, Linda Barkane, Viktorija Igumnova, Agnija Kivrane, Egija Zole, Renate Ranka (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a severe disease that requires prolonged chemotherapy and is associated with an increased probability of treatment failure and death. MDR-TB is a state of heightened oxidative stress and inflammation, which could be related to the aging-related processes and immunosenescence. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that MDR-TB is associated with alterations in aging biomarkers in peripheral blood cells. We investigated 51 MDR-TB patients and 57 healthy individuals and carried out an analysis of covariance to assess the possible impact of different variables on biomarker perturbations. The results showed that MDR-TB patients had significantly reduced telomere length (TL) and increased mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) (P < 0.05) in comparison to the controls, and MDR-TB infection was the main influencing factor. Male sex and extrapulmonary TB strongly influenced mtDNA CN increment, and MDR-TB patients with normal weight had longer telomeres than those who were underweight (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the evidence for shorter telomeres and higher mtDNA CN in the peripheral blood cells of MDR-TB patients was obtained indicating the connection between MDR-TB and aging biomarkers. The observed associations highlight a complicated interplay between MDR-TB and immunosenescence, thus further studies are required to achieve full understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102144
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Aging biomarkers
  • Immunosenescence
  • Multidrug resistant tuberculosis

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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