The patients hospitalized were recruited and satisfied the included criteria; the blood samples were collected from August 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University. The included criteria were as follows: patients were confirmed as having active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) with Mtb culture positive or sputum acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear positive with typical radiological changes consistent with TB manifestation or PCR amplification of Mtb positive. All patients included could be classified into severe lesion PTB and mild lesion PTB and had not been previously treated by anti-TB chemotherapy or been treated within one week. The method of classification was decided on the radiological manifestation and clinical characteristics previously described in our previous studies [14, 15]. Severe lesion PTB was defined as patients with a cavity of ≥3 cm in diameter or more than 3 cavities regardless of the diameter of the cavity; mild lesion PTB was defined as patients with no cavity of lesions in ≤2 lung fields. The study got the approval of the ethical committee of Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital; the approval number was fk17-022. All included patients signed the informed consent to participate in the study.

Patients who were in immunosuppressive status (including serum HIV-positive subjects) or were using immunosuppressive agents and accompanied by severe complications such as diabetes mellitus, malignant diseases, and liver diseases were excluded from this study.

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