Combined use of Western blot/ELISA to improve the serological diagnosis of human tuberculosis

Braz J Infect Dis. 2005 Feb;9(1):35-43. doi: 10.1590/s1413-86702005000100007. Epub 2005 Jun 6.

Abstract

Two recombinant antigens and a crude bacterial antigen of a wild M. tuberculosis strain were used to detect specific IgG antibodies in sera from 52 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, confirmed by an acid-fast smear and serum culture of these patients and that of 25 contacts. The patients were not infected with HIV. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA, based on the recombinant TbF6 and TbF6/DPEP antigen and a search for reactivity patterns in the Western blot technique, using whole mycobacterium antigen. Serum samples from 22 healthy individuals and from 30 patients with lung diseases other than tuberculosis were used as controls. The best ELISA results were obtained with the TbF6/DPEP antigen combination, which gave 85% sensitivity and 91% specificity. ELISA sensitivity improved from 85% to 92% when the Western blot results were used. Western blot specificity was 100% when antibody reactivity with different antigenic bands was analyzed and associated. The association of TbF6/DPEP antigens used in ELISA with specific patterns of reactivity determined by Western blot can help make an identification when classic methods for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis are not sufficient.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial* / immunology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / blood
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*

Substances

  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G