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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 834749, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Anti-TBGL Antibody in the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Patients in China

1Division of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan
2Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China
3Key laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology of the Ministries of Education, School of Basic Medical Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China
4Division of Global Epidemiology, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0020, Japan
5Laboratory of Disaster-Related Infectious Disease, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan

Received 21 November 2014; Revised 28 April 2015; Accepted 24 May 2015

Academic Editor: Beatrice Saviola

Copyright © 2015 Jingge Zhao 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.


Tuberculous glycolipid (TBGL) is a component of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall, and anti-TBGL antibodies are used for serodiagnosis of tuberculosis. Anti-TBGL IgG and IgA levels were measured in 45 pulmonary TB patients (PTB), 26 extra-pulmonary TB patients (ETB), 16 AIDS-TB patients, and 58 healthy controls (HC) including 39 health care workers (HW) and 19 newly enrolled students (ST). Anti-TBGL IgG measurements yielded 68.9% and 46.2% sensitivity in PTB and ETB, respectively, and 81.0% specificity. However, anti-TBGL IgA measurements were significantly less sensitive in detecting ETB than PTB (15.4% versus 46.7% sensitivity) but showed up to 89.7% specificity. Samples from AIDS-TB patients exhibited low reaction of anti-TBGL IgG and IgA with 6.3% and 12.5% sensitivity, respectively. Unlike anti-lipoarabinomannan (LAM) IgG that was found to elevate in sputum smearpositive subjects, anti-TBGL IgG and IgA elevated in those with cavitation and bronchiectasis, respectively. Anti-TBGL IgG in cavitary TB yielded 78.2% sensitivity compared to 57.1% in those otherwise. Meanwhile, higher anti-TBGL IgA titers were observed in HW than in ST, and increasing anti-TBGL IgG titers were observed in HW on follow-up. Therefore, higher anti-TBGL antibody titers are present in patients presenting cavities and bronchiectasis and subjects under TB exposure risk.