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J Commun Dis. 1995 Dec;27(4):208-14.

Serodiagnosis of tuberculosis.

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National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi.


To overcome limitations of the conventional laboratory tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis, attempts have been made in the past to develop a good serodiagnostic test. Until the availability of ELISA results obtained with various immunological techniques were of limited use. Even with ELISA, early attempts to estimate specific antimycobacterial antibodies in the serum were based on the use of crude mycobacterial antigens resulting in a very high false positivity. Better results were obtained with purified antigens. Various purified and semipurified antigens which when used in the ELISA test for estimating antibodies in the serum and other body fluids in cases of tuberculosis have given encouraging results. These include a glycolipid antigen from Myc. bovis BCG (ST = 88%, SP = 96%), antigen '5' (ST = 72%, SP = 91%) and a 38 Kd protein antigen (ST = 83%). Estimation of various mycobacterial antigens in different clinical specimens has also been studied using ELISA technique. Encouraging results have been obtained with the detection of a 43 Kd antigen, Lipoarabinomannan antigen and antigen '5' in the serum, CSF and other body fluids of cases of tuberculosis (ST = 80-100%, SP = 93-100%). The serological tests by detecting specific mycobacterial antigens and antibodies can be of great help in diagnosing the smear negative tuberculosis as these are rapid, inexpensive and simple to perform.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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