Humoral Immune Response Against 38- And 16-kDa Mycobacterial Antigens in Childhood Tuberculosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2009 Sep;44(9):839-44. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20901.


Several enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on mycobacterial antigens have been tried for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). In this study, the value of the 16 and 38-kDa mycobacterial antigens in the diagnosis of TB was investigated in pediatric patients in Izmir, Turkey in whom they were found using clinical and/or bacteriological methods. A commercial ELISA kit was used for measuring IgG against 38 and 16-kDa recombinant antigens. The humoral immune response was analyzed in a group of 32 TB patients (24 pulmonary, 3 lymphadenitis and 2 pleuritis, 2 meningitis and a disseminated TB) and in control groups consisting of 20 healthy children and 20 pulmonary diseases other than TB cases. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and the negative predictive value of the test were found to be 25%, 90%, 66.7%, and 60%, respectively, in the TB cases. The ELISA test shows very good specificity, but low level of sensitivity and negative predict value. It was thought that it might be used in combination with other methods to increase diagnostic accuracy, especially for culture-negative TB pediatric cases, which are difficult to diagnose.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Infant
  • Lipoproteins / immunology*
  • Male
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology


  • Ag38 antigen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lipoproteins
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens