Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 123–128 | Cite as

Diagnostic role of the antibody response to the 38kDa, 16kDa proteins and lipoarabinomannan of mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Renuka Raju
  • Sujai Suneetha
  • Karuna Sagili
  • Meher Vani C 
  • Saraswathi V 
  • Satyanarayana A V V 
  • Lavanya M Suneetha


The antibody response to the 38kDa, 16kDa and Lipoarabinomannan (LAM) antigens ofMycobacterium tuberculosis was evaluated using three different ELISAs based on these antigens. The study group included tuberculosis patients (n=52), patients with HIV and TB co-infection (n=10), other chest symptomatics (n=5), HIV infected individuals (n=10), leprosy cases (n=7) and healthy controls (n=75). The results indicate that the 38kDa and LAM based ELISA for IgM/IgG has a low specificity (ranging from 69–85%) and sensitivity (ranging from 55–78%). When three ELISAs are carried out on a single patient the probability of detection of tuberculosis was significantly increased to 95.2% indicating that a single ELISA test is of low sensitivity and that a combination of ELISA’s may be needed to be of any value as a diagnostic test for tuberculosis. Additionally, a western blot assay of the serum antibody response to protein fraction ofM. tuberculosis was analysed in 15 tuberculosis patients and five healthy controls. A multiple antibody response to various M.tuberculosis proteins was observed which varied from patient to patient as compared to controls who showed a single 38–39 kDa protein band positivity. These finding suggest that a western blot assay which determines the antibody response to a set of antigenic components ofM. tuberculosis could be a better serological test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in our population.

Key Words

Tuberculosis Serodiagnosis ELISA Western blot 38kDa and 16kDa M.tb protein Lipoarabinomannan 


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Copyright information

© Association of Clinical Biochemists of India 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renuka Raju
    • 1
  • Sujai Suneetha
    • 4
  • Karuna Sagili
    • 1
  • Meher Vani C 
    • 1
  • Saraswathi V 
    • 2
  • Satyanarayana A V V 
    • 3
  • Lavanya M Suneetha
    • 5
  1. 1.Blue Peter Research CentreLEPRA IndiaHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Blood BankNizam Institute of Medical Sciences, (NIMS)Hyderabad
  3. 3.State Tuberculosis Training & Demonstration CentreHyderabad
  4. 4.Nireesh KanaHIV/AIDS CentreHyderabad
  5. 5.Molecular Biology Laboratory Institute of GeneticsOsmania UniversityHyderabad

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