• Tuberculous meningitis;
  • Neurocysticercosis;
  • Passive hemagglutination;
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay;
  • Immunoblot assay;
  • Immunodiagnosis


Tanned sheep erythrocytes stabilized with pyruvic aldehyde and glutaraldehyde, called double-aldehyde-stabilized cells, were used to standardize passive hemagglutination assay (PHA) for detection of antibody responses to sonicate extract of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Cysticercus cellulosae soluble antigens. PHA was performed in the following groups of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples: group I – chronic infections of the central nervous system with the possible diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis (TBM), tuberculoma and neurocysticercosis (NCC) (n=88), and group II – controls which included (a) non-infectious non-neurological conditions (n=30), (b) infectious neurological conditions (n=21) and (c) non-infectious neurological conditions (n=133). PHA could detect anti-mycobacterial antibodies at the sensitivity level of 80.76% with a specificity of 92.4% and anti-cysticercal antibodies with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 92.94%. However, in 6.33% (i.e. 14/221) of group I and group II (c) CSFs both anti-mycobacterial and anti-cysticercal antibodies were detected. Immunoblot analysis of CSFs derived from TBM patients reacted predominantly to 120-kDa, 96-kDa, 65-kDa, 38-kDa, 26-kDa, 23-kDa, 19-kDa and 12–14-kDa and 4–6-kDa antigens of M. tuberculosis sonicate extract (MTSE), whilst CSFs of proven NCC reacted to >110-kDa, 96-kDa, 80-kDa, 66–68-kDa, 52-kDa and 26–28-kDa antigens of porcine whole cyst sonicate extract (PCSE). On immunoblot analysis, some of the CSFs of TBM patients were PHA positive for both MTSE and PCSE showed antibody reactivity to 70-kDa and 10-kDa antigens of C. cellulosae. Similarly CSF antibody of some Guillain Barre syndrome and myeloradiculopathy patients reacted with cysticercal antigens. But per se no cross-reactivity between MTSE and anti-cysticercal antibodies and vice-versa were observed. However, findings of this study should alert laboratory personnel especially in endemic areas to be extra careful in interpretation of antibody detection results.