Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens of high serodiagnostic value

Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Oct;17(10):1539-47. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00198-10. Epub 2010 Aug 18.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with several million new cases detected each year. Current methods of diagnosis are time-consuming and/or expensive or have a low level of accuracy. Therefore, new diagnostics are urgently needed to address the global tuberculosis burden and to improve control programs. Serological assays remain attractive for use in resource-limited settings because they are simple, rapid, and inexpensive and offer the possibility of detecting cases often missed by routine sputum smear microscopy. The aim of this study was to identify M. tuberculosis seroreactive antigens from a panel of 103 recombinant proteins selected as diagnostic candidates. Initial library screening by protein array analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) identified 42 antigens with serodiagnostic potential. Among these, 25 were novel proteins. The reactive antigens demonstrated various individual sensitivities, ranging from 12% to 78% (specificities, 76 to 100%). When the antigens were analyzed in combinations, up to 93% of antibody responders could be identified among the TB patients. Selected seroreactive proteins were used to design 3 new polyepitope fusion proteins. Characterization of these antigens by multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA) revealed that the vast majority of the TB patients (90%) produced antibody responses. The results confirmed that due to the remarkable variation in immune recognition patterns, an optimal multiantigen cocktail should be designed to cover the heterogeneity of antibody responses and thus achieve the highest possible test sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens