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Can J Microbiol. 1994 Jun;40(6):508-12.

Comparison of thermostable macromolecular antigens from leprosy-associated bacteria.

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Microbiology and Genetics Unit, University of Louvain, Medical School, Brussels, Belgium.


Three types of bacteria are associated with leprosy: Mycobacterium leprae, leprosy-derived corynebacteria (LDC), and armadillo-derived mycobacteria (ADM). The immunological relationships between these three types of bacteria and Mycobacterium bovis BCG, used as a reference, were determined by cross-immunoelectrophoresis. When compared with the reference, cross-reactions were observed with a variable number of antigens: 2 in the case of strain LDC 15, 4 with M. leprae, and from 1 to 10 in the case of the ADM, depending on their subgroup. Next, thermostable macromolecular antigens (TMAs), the major cross-reactive antigens of leprosy-associated bacteria, were compared by anti-TMA antibody ELISA tests. The LDC TMAs displayed high cross-reactivity between the subgroups and lower cross-reactivity with the TMAs of M. bovis BCG. Evidence for the presence of a species-specific moiety in TMA of the different LDC was obtained by using depleted anti-TMA antisera. Western blot analysis revealed the presence of many proteins in the TMAs of LDC and M. bovis BCG, some of them being species-specific and other cross-reactive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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