Immunological crossreactivity of the Mycobacterium leprae CFP-10 with its homologue in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Scand J Immunol. 2004 Jan;59(1):66-70. doi: 10.1111/j.0300-9475.2004.01358.x.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture filtrate protein-10 (CFP-10) (Rv3874) is considered a promising antigen for the immunodiagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) together with early secreted antigens of M. tuberculosis (ESAT-6). Both ESAT-6 and CFP-10 are encoded by the RD1 region that is deleted from all tested M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strains but present in M. leprae, M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. kansasii, M. africanum and M. marinum. In this study, the homologue of CFP-10 in M. leprae (ML0050) is identified and characterized. Interferon-gamma production in response to this homologue by T cells from leprosy patients, TB patients and unexposed controls shows that CFP-10 of M. leprae is a potent antigen that crossreacts with CFP-10 of M. tuberculosis at the T-cell level. This crossreactivity has implications for the use of CFP-10 of these mycobacterial species as diagnostic tool in areas endemic for both the diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Leprosy / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacterium leprae / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Sequence Homology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • CFP-10 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • ESAT-6 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Interferon-gamma