We report the development of an EIA specific for antituberculosis antibody in human serum for the clinical evaluation of tuberculosis. We developed a TLC immunostaining method to detect specific antigens for antibodies in the serum of patients with tuberculosis. The detected specific antigens, TDM and specific gylcolipid fraction, were individually purified from M. tuberculosis H37Rv by column chromatography. The two purified fractions were mixed and the mixture, termed TBGL antigen, was applied to an enzyme immunoassay suitable for the measurement of antituberculosis antibodies in serum. This EIA meets all the requirements of routine clinical assay in terms of sensitivity (detection limit: 0.125 U/ml), reproducibility (total CV : 3.3-6.0%), accuracy (recovery: 96-105%), simplicity and rapidity (< 2.5 h). Clinical validation of the assay was confirmed by the measurement of the anti-tuberculosis antibody in the serum of normal subjects and patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. The EIA tested in this study showed a high serodiagnostic discriminating power (90% sensitivity and 98% specificity).