The Secretory Immunoglobulin A Response to Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in a Childhood Population

Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. Sep-Oct 2006;39(5):456-61. doi: 10.1590/s0037-86822006000500007.


We report on the measurement of saliva anti-Purified Protein Derivative sIgA and 38kDa antibodies from 127 children, of whom 31 were strong tuberculosis suspects and 96 were healthy contact children. The results concerning the percentage of children with antibody reactivity to PPD and 38kDa antigens showed that, of these 2 antigens, 38kDa induced higher reactivity in patients positive and negative for the Tuberculin Skin Test (28% and 16.6%, respectively) in comparison to controls positive and negative for the TST (11.7% and 7.1%, respectively). There was a statistically significant difference between patients positive and controls negative for the TST. In relation to the Purified Protein Derivative antigen, while 14.2% of patients positive for the TST showed antibody reactivity to the PPD antigen, no patients negative for the TST had reactivity to this antigen. The findings suggest that these two antigens seem be associated with a different development of the mucosal defence mechanisms mediated by sIgA against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antigens, Bacterial* / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory* / immunology
  • Indians, South American*
  • Infant
  • Lipoproteins* / immunology
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology*
  • Venezuela


  • Ag38 antigen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Lipoproteins