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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;30 Suppl 3:S201-5.

Multiple epitopes from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESAT-6 antigen are recognized by antigen-specific human T cell lines.

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Department of Microbiology, Kuwait University, Safat 13110, Kuwait.


A synthetic-peptide approach was used to map epitope regions of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis 6-kDa early secreted antigen target (ESAT-6) by testing human CD4(+) T cell lines for secretion of IFN-gamma in response to recombinant ESAT-6 (rESAT-6) and overlapping 20-mer peptides covering the antigen sequence. The results demonstrate that all of the ESAT-6 peptides screened were able to induce IFN-gamma secretion from one or more of the T cell lines tested. Some of the individual T cell lines showed the capacity to respond to all peptides. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA-DR) typing of the donors showed that rESAT-6 was presented to T cells in association with multiple HLA-DR molecules. The results suggest that frequent recognition of the M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 antigen by T cells from patients with tuberculosis is due to the presence of multiple epitopes scattered throughout the ESAT-6 sequence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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