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J Infect Dis. 2004 Mar 1;189(5):812-9. Epub 2004 Feb 13.

Mapping immune reactivity toward Rv2653 and Rv2654: two novel low-molecular-mass antigens found specifically in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

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Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark.


New tools are urgently needed for the detection of latent tuberculosis (TB). We evaluated the diagnostic potential of 2 novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex-specific candidate antigens (Rv2653 and Rv2654) and investigated T cell recognition during natural infection in humans and experimental infection in guinea pigs. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with peptide pools covering the full length of Rv2654 induced interferon- gamma release in 10 of 19 patients with TB. Neither Rv2654 single peptides nor Rv2654 pools were recognized by bacille Calmette-Guerin-vaccinated donors. However, peptides from Rv2653 were recognized by both patients group. The cross-reactive epitope(s) in Rv2653 were located in a 36-amino acid stretch in the center of the molecule. Rv2654 also induced M. tuberculosis-specific skin-test responses in 3 of 4 aerosol-infected guinea pigs. Rv2654 is a strongly recognized T cell antigen that is highly specific for TB and has potential as a novel cell-mediated immunity-based TB diagnostic agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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