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Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1991 Sep;59(3):441-9.

Serum IgA1 and IgM antibodies against Mycobacterium leprae-derived phenolic glycolipid-I: a comparative study in leprosy patients and their contacts.

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Neurological Institute, University of Vienna, Austria.


In order to evaluate the potentials of IgA1 versus IgM as well as of native phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) versus PGL-I-disaccharide coupled to bovine serum albumin (D-BSA) as antigens in the serodiagnosis of leprosy, anti-D-BSA IgA1 and anti-PGL-I IgM were investigated and compared to anti-PGL-I IgA1 in sera from patients and contacts. Anti-D-BSA and anti-PGL-I IgA1 significantly correlate in patients and contacts. The higher IgA1 positivity rates obtained with D-BSA as compared to PGL-I may suggest D-BSA as the favorable antigenic material. In patients but not in contacts anti-PGL-I IgM and IgA1 correlate, IgM predominating over IgA1. In all three antibody systems, the mean values as well as the positivity rates increased from the tuberculoid toward the lepromatous disease pole. Also, the levels of all three antibodies significantly increased with the bacterial index (BI). However, anti-D-BSA (PGL-I) IgA1 appears to be preferable to IgM with respect to sensitivity, i.e., detection of disease activity, in paucibacillary or BI-negative patients. A number of contacts were detected as seropositive with anti-D-BSA and/or anti-PGL-I IgA1 but not with anti-PGL-I IgM. This suggests that IgA1 is a better tool than IgM for the detection of leprosy in its subclinical stage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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