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Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lipolytic Enzymes as Potential Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Active Tuberculosis

Abstract : Background: New diagnosis tests are urgently needed to address the global tuberculosis (TB) burden and to improve control programs especially in resource-limited settings. An effective in vitro diagnostic of TB based on serological methods would be regarded as an attractive progress because immunoassays are simple, rapid, inexpensive, and may offer the possibility to detect cases missed by standard sputum smear microscopy. However, currently available serology tests for TB are highly variable in sensitivity and specificity. Lipolytic enzymes have recently emerged as key factors in lipid metabolization during dormancy and/or exit of the non-replicating growth phase, a prerequisite step of TB reactivation. The focus of this study was to analyze and compare the potential of four Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipolytic enzymes (LipY, Rv0183, Rv1984c and Rv3452) as new markers in the serodiagnosis of active TB. Methods: Recombinant proteins were produced and used in optimized ELISA aimed to detect IgG and IgM serum antibodies against the four lipolytic enzymes. The capacity of the assays to identify infection was evaluated in patients with either active TB or latent TB and compared with two distinct control groups consisting of BCG-vaccinated blood donors and hospitalized non-TB individuals. Results: A robust humoral response was detected in patients with active TB whereas antibodies against lipolytic enzymes were infrequently detected in either uninfected groups or in subjects with latent infection. High specifity levels, ranging from 93.9% to 97.5%, were obtained for all four antigens with sensitivity values ranging from 73.4% to 90.5%, with Rv3452 displaying the highest performances. Patients with active TB usually exhibited strong IgG responses but poor IgM responses. Conclusion: These results clearly indicate that the lipolytic enzymes tested are strongly immunogenic allowing to distinguish active from latent TB infections. They appear as potent biomarkers providing high sensitivity and specificity levels for the immunodiagnosis of active TB.
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Belinda Brust, Mélanie Lecoufle, Edouard Tuaillon, Luc Dedieu, Stéphane Canaan, et al.. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lipolytic Enzymes as Potential Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Active Tuberculosis. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2011, 6 (9), pp.e25078. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0025078⟩. ⟨hal-02649423⟩

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