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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 738043, 8 pages
Research Article

Identification of RD5-Encoded Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteins As B-Cell Antigens Used for Serodiagnosis of Tuberculosis

1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
2Department of Immunology, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang 453000, China
3Shanghai Kaidi Biotech Co., Ltd., Shanghai 200433, China
4Wuxi No. 5 People’s Hospital, Wuxi 214005, China
5Department of Biochemistry, Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450008, China

Received 31 December 2011; Accepted 1 April 2012

Academic Editor: Mario Clerici

Copyright © 2012 Miao-Miao Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Comparative genomic studies have identified several Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific genomic regions of difference (RDs) which are absent in the vaccine strains of Mycobacterium bovis BCG and which may be useful in the specific diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). In this study, all encoded proteins from DNA segment RD5 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that is, Rv3117–Rv3121, were recombined and evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for antibody reactivity with sera from HIV-negative pulmonary TB patients ( ) and healthy controls ( ). The results identified two immunodominant antigens, that is, Rv3117 and Rv3120, both of which revealed a statistically significant antigenic distinction between healthy controls and TB patients ( ). In comparison with the well-known early-secreted antigen target 6 kDa (ESAT-6) (sensitivity 21.7%, specificity 90.6%), the higher detection sensitivity and higher specificity were achieved (Rv3117: sensitivity 25%, specificity 96.9%; Rv3120: sensitivity 31.7%, specificity 96.9%). Thus, the results highlight the immunosensitive and immunospecific nature of Rv3117 and Rv3120 and indicate promise for their use in the serodiagnosis of TB.