Immunologic evaluation and validation of methods using synthetic peptides derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis for the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection
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The goal of this study was to demonstrate the usefulness of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the serodiagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and extrapulmonary TB (EPTB). This assay used 20 amino acid-long, non-overlapped synthetic peptides that spanned the complete Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESAT-6 and Ag85A sequences. The validation cohort consisted of 1,102 individuals who were grouped into the following five diagnostic groups: 455 patients with PTB, 60 patients with EPTB, 40 individuals with non-EPTB, 33 individuals with leprosy and 514 healthy controls. For the PTB group, two ESAT-6 peptides (12033 and 12034) had the highest sensitivity levels of 96.9% and 96.2%, respectively, and an Ag85A-peptide (29878) was the most specific (97.4%) in the PTB groups. For the EPTB group, two Ag85A peptides (11005 and 11006) were observed to have a sensitivity of 98.3% and an Ag85A-peptide (29878) was also the most specific (96.4%). When combinations of peptides were used, such as 12033 and 12034 or 11005 and 11006, 99.5% and 100% sensitivities in the PTB and EPTB groups were observed, respectively. In conclusion, for a cohort that consists entirely of individuals from Venezuela, a multi-antigen immunoassay using highly sensitive ESAT-6 and Ag85A peptides alone and in combination could be used to more rapidly diagnose PTB and EPTB infection.