Development of a whole blood assay to measure T cell responses to leprosy: a new tool for immuno-epidemiological field studies of leprosy immunity

J Immunol Methods. 1994 Nov 10;176(1):93-101. doi: 10.1016/0022-1759(94)90353-0.


A whole blood assay is described to measure T cell mediated immune responses to leprosy and provide an alternative to the conventional lymphocyte transformation test. Optimal conditions were defined for the whole blood assay, and interferon-gamma measurement was found to be a more sensitive way of measuring responses than tritiated thymidine incorporation. The assay was shown to be useful for investigating responses to a range of leprosy antigens. A whole blood assay has the advantages of being quick, simple and requiring only a small volume of blood, making it more appropriate as an immuno-epidemiological field test in leprosy endemic areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis
  • Leprosy / epidemiology
  • Leprosy / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mycobacterium leprae / immunology
  • Nepal / epidemiology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymidine / metabolism
  • Tuberculin


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Tuberculin
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Thymidine