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J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181(5):1850-4. Epub 2000 May 15.

Detection of active tuberculosis infection by T cell responses to early-secreted antigenic target 6-kDa protein and culture filtrate protein 10.

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Dept. of Infectious Diseases, C5P, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


The purified protein derivative (PPD) skin test has no predictive value for tuberculosis (TB) in Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated individuals because of cross-reactive responses to nonspecific constituents of PPD. T cell responses to early-secreted antigenic target 6-kDa protein (ESAT-6) and the newly identified culture filtrate protein 10 (CFP-10), 2 proteins specifically expressed by M. tuberculosis (MTB) but not by BCG strains, were evaluated. Most TB patients responded to ESAT-6 (92%) or CFP-10 (89%). A minority of BCG-vaccinated individuals responded to both ESAT-6 and CFP-10, their history being consistent with latent infection with MTB in the presence of protective immunity. No responses were found in PPD-negative controls. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 84% and 100%, respectively, at a cutoff of 300 pg of interferon-gamma/mL. These data indicate that ESAT-6 and CFP-10 are promising antigens for highly specific immunodiagnosis of TB, even in BCG-vaccinated individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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