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Scand J Immunol. 2004 Jan;59(1):66-70.

Immunological crossreactivity of the Mycobacterium leprae CFP-10 with its homologue in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture filtrate protein-10 (CFP-10) (Rv3874) is considered a promising antigen for the immunodiagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) together with early secreted antigens of M. tuberculosis (ESAT-6). Both ESAT-6 and CFP-10 are encoded by the RD1 region that is deleted from all tested M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strains but present in M. leprae, M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. kansasii, M. africanum and M. marinum. In this study, the homologue of CFP-10 in M. leprae (ML0050) is identified and characterized. Interferon-gamma production in response to this homologue by T cells from leprosy patients, TB patients and unexposed controls shows that CFP-10 of M. leprae is a potent antigen that crossreacts with CFP-10 of M. tuberculosis at the T-cell level. This crossreactivity has implications for the use of CFP-10 of these mycobacterial species as diagnostic tool in areas endemic for both the diseases.

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