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Braz J Infect Dis. 2007 Apr;11(2):215-9.

Salivary anti-PGL IgM and IgA titers and serum antibody IgG titers and avidities in leprosy patients and their correlation with time of infection and antigen exposure.

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Department of Clinical Analysis and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Capitão Francisco Pedro 1210, 60430-370 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.


The present work proposed to correlate serum antibody avidity and salivary antibody titers as parameters for time of infection and antigen exposure in a cohort study evaluating leprosy patients in different periods of treatment. Colorimetric enzyme-immunoassays for salivary antibodies, serum antibody IgG titers and avidities were performed in the samples. Anti-PGL-1 IgA and IgM salivary antibodies were significantly higher in multibacillar (MB-L) patients compared to normal controls (p<0.05), but not when compared to borderline tuberculoid (BT) or to paucibacillar (PB-L) patients (p>0.05). A good correlation was found between salivary anti-PGL-1 IgA and IgM levels in MB-L patients (r=0.41, p<0.01). Two out of 33 tested saliva samples from patients who had completed the drug regimen treatment presented positive salivary antibodies. Among non-treated patients, samples with low, medium or high serum IgG antibody avidity were found in similar frequencies. In patients under treatment, most of the serum samples showed low or medium IgG antibody avidity. The treated MB-L patients showed medium or high antibody avidity, except for two, who showed very low antibody avidity results. We suggest that salivary anti-PGL antibodies and serum IgG avidity could be useful for the indication of recent exposure or re-exposure to bacteria after chemotherapy.

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