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Keywords:

  • humoral response;
  • latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection;
  • Rv2986c;
  • tuberculosis

Abstract

Development of accurate methods for predicting progression of tuberculosis (TB) from the latent state is recognized as vitally important in controlling TB, because a majority of cases develop from latent infections. Past TB that has never been treated has a higher risk of progressing than does latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in patients who have previously received treatment. Antibody responses against 23 kinds of M. tuberculosis proteins in individuals with past TB who had not been medicated were evaluated. These individuals had significantly higher concentrations of antibodies against Antigen 85A and mycobacterial DNA-binding protein 1 (MDP1) than did those with active TB and uninfected controls. In addition, immunohistochemistry revealed colocalization of tubercle bacilli, antigen 85 and MDP1 inside tuberculous granuloma lesions in an asymptomatic subject, showing that M. tuberculosis in lesions expresses both antigen 85 and MDP1. Our study suggests the potential usefulness of measuring antibody responses to antigen 85A and MDP1 for assessing the risk of TB progression.