IgG isotype antibody responses to epitopes of the Mycobacterium bovis protein MPB70 in immunised and in tuberculin skin test-reactor cattle

Vet Microbiol. 2000 Jul 31;75(2):177-88. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1135(00)00215-7.


Serological assays may have merit in identifying animals in advanced stages of bovine tuberculosis, but most tests have had sub-optimal sensitivities and specificities. The Mycobacterium bovis protein MPB70 has been identified as a B-cell target with diagnostic potential in measurement of pre- and post-skin-test antibody responses. One observation, which has potential practical application, has been that skin testing with tuberculin boosts IgG(1) anti-MPB70 antibody responses in cattle with tuberculous lesions. However, serological cross-reactivities with bacteria, such as Nocardia asteroides, have been described for this protein. With the aim of identifying candidate reagents for improved diagnostic tests, this study investigated IgG isotype antibody responses to MPB70 at the epitope level and, because of the previous findings, focused on IgG(1) responses following skin testing. Screening of a panel of overlapping synthetic peptides using sera from cattle immunised with MPB70 and cattle infected with M. bovis showed that two regions of the protein (residues 21-70 and 101-120) contain dominant B-cell epitopes. No individual epitope appeared to be selectively recognised by one isotype of IgG antibody. Investigation of IgG(1) responses showed that recognition of the epitope within residues 51-70 was boosted strongly by tuberculin injections in skin-test positive cattle and that this memory response was generally a feature of cattle which were found to have macroscopic, tuberculous lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Cattle
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Immunization / veterinary
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium bovis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium bovis / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Tuberculin Test / veterinary*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Bovine / immunology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • MPB70 protein, Mycobacterium bovis