Clinical evaluation of rapid serodiagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis by ELISA with cord factor (trehalose-6,6'-dimycolate) as antigen purified from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Oct;148(4 Pt 1):997-1001. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/148.4_Pt_1.997.


Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against purified cord factor (trehalose-6,6'-dimycolate) prepared from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and its diagnostic usefulness was evaluated. Serum specimens from 65 patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis, 58 patients with inactive pulmonary tuberculosis, 36 patients with diseases other than tuberculosis, and 66 healthy adults were examined. Patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis showed significantly higher titers of IgG antibodies against cord factor than did other groups (p < 0.001). The antibody titer greater than 0.29 in absorption difference (492 to 630 nm) of 160-times diluted serum was set as positive in ELISA. For patients with active and untreated pulmonary tuberculosis, the ELISA had a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 96%. From these results, it was concluded that the detection of IgG antibodies against cord factor is useful for serodiagnosis of active pulmonary tuberculosis. It was also indicated that the anticord factor antibody titers decline to the normal level as a result of antituberculosis chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cord Factors / immunology*
  • Cord Factors / isolation & purification
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / statistics & numerical data
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Serologic Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Cord Factors