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Free Content Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipid antigens: use of multi-antigen based enzyme immunoassay for free and complex dissociated antibodies

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OBJECTIVE: To test the sensitivity and specificity of four lipid antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: BDA-TDA, DAT, SL-I, and PIMs, adsorbed in the same microplate well, to detect reactive IgG by enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) from plain serum (MA-EIA) and dissociated immune complexes (ICMA-EIA).

DESIGN: IgG antibodies against four antigens, placed in the same microplate well, were evaluated in serum from 155 tuberculous (TB) cases non-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): 78 patients with positive bacilloscopy and culture, 33 patients with positive culture and 44 patients diagnosed by clinical and radiological criteria; and from 211 HIV negative control subjects: 32 patients with other pulmonary diseases, 100 healthy people and 79 close contacts.

RESULTS: MA-EIA had an overall sensitivity and specificity of 61% (94/155) and 95% (200/211), respectively. We further examined whether the dissociation of immune complexes increases the number of positive reactions in those initially found to be seronegative (SN). The subset of 112 (76 controls and 36 TB) MA-EIA SN samples tested using ICMA-EIA yielded an overall sensitivity and specificity of 83% and 100%. The ICMA-EIA results improved the overall sensitivity from 61 to 80% without changing specificity.

CONCLUSION: These preliminary results suggest that MA-EIA followed by ICMA-EIA, for SN samples, might serve as a fast, cheap, and easy method for the diagnosis of TB in less than 48 hours.
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Keywords: immunoassay; immunocomplexes; lipid antigens; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Cornell University Medical College, Ithaca, New York, USA 2: Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, y, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3: Instituto de Microbiologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4: Laboratório de Hanseníase, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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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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