Association of tuberculosis and M. tuberculosis-specific antibody levels with HLA

J Infect Dis. 1989 Mar;159(3):549-55. doi: 10.1093/infdis/159.3.549.


In the search for HLA-linked immune response genes that control susceptibility to tuberculosis, we performed HLA typing and measured antibody titers to well-defined Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigenic determinants in 101 patients with sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis and 64 healthy controls from Surabaya, Indonesia. HLA-DR2 and DQw1 were associated with sputum smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (attributable risk = 36% and 39%, respectively), while DQw3 was associated even more strongly with the control group (preventive fraction = 57%). Antibody titers to the TB71 and TB72 epitopes of the 38-kDa protein, present only on tubercle bacilli, were strongly associated with DR2 (Pcorr = .001 and .024, respectively). The association of both the disease and the antibody response to the 38-kDa antigen of M. tuberculosis with Class II HLA genes HLA-DR2 indicates that Ir-gene-mediated regulation of the immune response to this antigen may be of pathogenic significance for the development of sputum smear-positive tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Epitopes
  • Gene Frequency
  • HLA-D Antigens / analysis*
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics
  • Indonesia
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / genetics
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Epitopes
  • HLA-D Antigens