Humoral immune responses against the Mycobacterium tuberculosis 38-kilodalton, MTB48, and CFP-10/ESAT-6 antigens in tuberculosis.

Institute for Tuberculosis Research, 309th Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing 100091, China.
Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI (Impact Factor: 2.6). 03/2010; 17(3):372-5. DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00287-09
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The diagnosis of smear-negative and culture-negative patients with active tuberculosis (TB) is challenging. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antibodies in human sera has been an important diagnostic aid. However, detection of antibody responses to a single antigen usually has a low sensitivity for diagnosis of TB. In this study, humoral immune responses against recombinant M. tuberculosis 38-kDa, MTB48, and CFP-10/ESAT-6 (culture filtrate protein 10/6-kDa early secreted antigen target of M. tuberculosis) antigens in 250 Chinese TB patients and 260 healthy subjects were evaluated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The levels of antibodies against those antigens in TB patients, even in bacterium-negative ones, were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects (P < 0.001). The serodiagnostic sensitivities to detect antibodies against individual antigens, i.e., recombinant M. tuberculosis 38-kDa, MTB48, and CFP-10/ESAT-6 antigens, in TB patients were 73.6%, 73.2%, and 60.4%, respectively, with specificities of 85.4%, 77.7%, and 73.8%, respectively. Importantly, the sensitivity to positively detect humoral responses to one of the antigens increased further. Our data suggest that the humoral immune responses to M. tuberculosis antigens in TB patients are heterogeneous. The 38-kDa, MTB48, and CFP-10/ESAT-6 antigens can be used as the cocktail antigens in the serodiagnosis of active TB, especially for smear- or culture-negative TB cases.

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