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03 January 2014 : Original article

Research on the occurrence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in the circulating immune complexes, isolated from serum of patients with tuberculosis

Grzegorz PrzybylskiABCDEFG, Ryszard GołdaABCE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889862

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:6-10

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases and has among the highest mortality rates of all infectious diseases. There are 9 million cases of active tuberculosis reported annually; however, an estimated one-third of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and remains asymptomatic. Despite the great progress in its diagnosis and treatment, tuberculosis is still a serious health and social problem. The contact between the immune system and Mycobacterium tuberculosis initiates cell-specific (Th1) and humoral-specific (Th2) responses. Many studies about the presence of antituberculotic antibodies in the serum have produced inconsistent results because of a high proportion of false-positive or false-negative results. The purpose of this study was to confirm whether circulating immune complexes (CIC) isolated from the serum of patients with tuberculosis are accompanied by antigenic proteins typical of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We assayed serum samples from 42 patients with tuberculosis. The control group consisted of the sera samples taken from 45 healthy subjects. The immunochemical analysis of dissociated immune complexes using the dot blot method demonstrated positive reaction on the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in all patients with tuberculosis.

RESULTS: All patients with tuberculosis demonstrated a high serum concentration of CIC protein. The mean serum concentration of CIC protein was significantly higher in patients than in controls: 0.081 g/l in the control group and 0.211 g/l in the tuberculosis patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of CIC suggests that it may be a helpful test for patients with tuberculosis because of its quickness, simplicity of the idea, and limited invasiveness.

Keywords: Aged, 80 and over, Adult, Antigen-Antibody Complex - immunology, Antigens, Bacterial - blood, Immunoblotting, Mycobacterium tuberculosis - immunology, Statistics, Nonparametric, Tuberculosis - blood

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750