Immune recognition surface construction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis epitope-specific antibody responses in tuberculosis patients identified by peptide microarrays

Int J Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;56:155-166. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2017.01.015. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


Background: Understanding of humoral immune responses in tuberculosis (TB) is gaining interest, since B-cells and antibodies may be important in diagnosis as well as protective immune responses. High-content peptide microarrays (HCPM) are highly precise and reliable for gauging specific antibody responses to pathogens, as well as autoantigens.

Methods: An HCPM comprising epitopes spanning 154 proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was used to gauge specific IgG antibody responses in sera of TB patients from Africa and South America. Open source software for general access to this method is provided.

Results: The IgG response pattern of TB patients differs from that of healthy individuals, with the molecular complexity of the antigens influencing the strength of recognition. South American individuals with or without TB exhibited a generally stronger serum IgG response to the tested M. tuberculosis antigens compared to their African counterparts. Individual M. tuberculosis peptide targets were defined, segregating patients with TB from Africa versus those from South America.

Conclusions: These data reveal the heterogeneity of epitope-dependent humoral immune responses in TB patients, partly due to geographical setting. These findings expose a new avenue for mining clinically meaningful vaccine targets, diagnostic tools, and the development of immunotherapeutics in TB disease management or prevention.

Keywords: Humoral immune response; Immune recognition surfaces; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Peptide microarray; Tuberculosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Protein Array Analysis*
  • South America / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Epitopes
  • Peptides
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens