The 38-kDa protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a review

J Infect Dis. 1992 Oct;166(4):874-84. doi: 10.1093/infdis/166.4.874.


This review illustrates that the 38-kDa protein is one of the most important antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is actively secreted but partly attached to the surface of the mycobacterial cell by a lipid tail that may also be responsible for binding of carbohydrate to the protein. It is a major constituent of M. tuberculosis culture fluid after growth on the synthetic Sauton medium and occurs in bacille Calmette-Guérin in far lower concentrations. The protein induces B and T cell responses with high specificity for infection with M. tuberculosis and is a prime candidate for development of new diagnostic reagents for tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Tuberculin / immunology*
  • Tuberculin / isolation & purification


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen 5
  • Tuberculin