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Recognition of mycobacterial antigens by sera from patients with leprosy.

  • F Vega-Lopez
  • N G Stoker
  • M F Locniskar
  • H M Dockrell
  • K A Grant
  • K P McAdam
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1988
  • Biology


Mycobacterium leprae sonic extracts prepared from armadillo-derived bacteria were subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting (immunoblotting) procedures and probed with serum or plasma samples from 20 patients with lepromatous leprosy and 14 healthy endemic controls. Five proteins of 33, 25, 18, 15, and 12 kilodaltons (kDa) were frequently recognized; the 33- and 15-kDa proteins were, respectively, recognized with high intensity by 16 and 13 of the 20 samples from patients with leprosy, whereas only one healthy donor had antibodies that recognized the 15-kDa protein. By the use of M. leprae-specific murine monoclonal antibodies it was demonstrated that the 33-, 25-, and 15-kDa antigens were different from those bound by the available murine monoclonal antibodies. The 18- and 12-kDa proteins detected had molecular masses similar to those detected by the corresponding murine monoclonal antibodies. The serum and plasma samples from patients with leprosy were also used to probe Western blots of a soluble extract of M. tuberculosis. They recognized, among others, antigens with molecular weights similar to those detected in the M. leprae antigenic preparations, although with less intensity and at a lower frequency.

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