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Infect Immun. 2000 Jun;68(6):3314-21.

Antigenic equivalence of human T-cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific RD1-encoded protein antigens ESAT-6 and culture filtrate protein 10 and to mixtures of synthetic peptides.

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1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. smarend@lumc.nl

Abstract

The early secreted antigenic target 6-kDa protein (ESAT-6) and culture filtrate protein 10 (CFP-10) are promising antigens for reliable immunodiagnosis of tuberculosis. Both antigens are encoded by RD1, a genomic region present in all strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis but lacking in all M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine strains. Production and purification of recombinant antigens are laborious and costly, precluding rapid and large-scale testing. Aiming to develop alternative diagnostic reagents, we have investigated whether recombinant ESAT-6 (rESAT-6) and recombinant CFP-10 (rCFP-10) can be replaced with corresponding mixtures of overlapping peptides spanning the complete amino acid sequence of each antigen. Proliferation of M. tuberculosis-specific human T-cell lines in response to rESAT-6 and rCFP-10 and that in response to the corresponding peptide mixtures were almost completely correlated (r = 0.96, P < 0.0001 for ESAT-6; r = 0.98, P < 0.0001 for CFP-10). More importantly, the same was found when gamma interferon production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to these stimuli was analyzed (r = 0.89, P < 0.0001 for ESAT-6; r = 0.89, P < 0.0001 for CFP-10). Whole protein antigens and the peptide mixtures resulted in identical sensitivity and specificity for detection of infection with M. tuberculosis. The peptides in each mixture contributing to the overall response varied between individuals with different HLA-DR types. Interestingly, responses to CFP-10 were significantly higher in the presence of HLA-DR15, which is the major subtype of DR2. These results show that mixtures of synthetic overlapping peptides have potency equivalent to that of whole ESAT-6 and CFP-10 for sensitive and specific detection of infection with M. tuberculosis, and peptides have the advantage of faster production at lower cost.

PMID:
10816479
PMCID:
PMC97589
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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