Free Content Sensitivity and specificity of a multi-antigen ELISA test for the serological diagnosis of tuberculosis [Technical Note]

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A new serological assay (Detect-TB, BioChem ImmunoSystems), using three recombinant proteins and two synthetic peptides for the detection of the anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis IgG, was evaluated using a panel of serum specimens collected from 100 tuberculosis (TB) patients and 270 controls, in comparison with a home-made ELISA test using purified protein derivative (PPD) as antigen. Detect-TB presented a higher sensitivity (75%) compared to PPD-ELISA (56%; P < 0.01), while the specificity of each assay was similar (Detect-TB 97%; PPD-ELISA 100%; P > 0.80). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis obtained with these data confirmed the higher level of performance of Detect-TB in comparison with PPD-ELISA. Considering the rapidity, cost-effectiveness and simplicity of this assay, its use may provide useful clinical information aiding in the rapid diagnosis of difficult TB cases.

Keywords: TB serology; diagnosis; multi-antigen test

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Sciences, Section of Respiratory Medicine, University of Modena, Modena, Italy; and Laboratory of Immunochemistry and Molecular Pathology, Department of Biology, University ‘Tor Vergata’, Rome, Italy 2: BioChem ImmunoSystems Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada 3: Medical Services, ‘S. Anna’ Correctional facility, Modena, Italy 4: Department of Medical Sciences, Section of Respiratory Medicine, University of Modena, Modena, Italy

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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