ABSTRACT To distinguish Mycobacterium tuberculosis from Mycobacterium avium, specific M. tuberculosis antigens had been studied for improving the early differential diagnosis effect of tuberculosis caused by different Mycobacterium. The rabbit anti-M. avium sera and anti-M. tuberculosis sera were analyzed for antibody-based reactivity by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF Mass) against M. tuberculosis proteins. The immunoreactive spots, which were attributed to the proteins HspX, GroES and CFP-10, were mostly located at 10 - 60 kDa and PI 4 - 6, subsequently Western blotting result proved that HspX and CFP-10 were specific to M. tuberculosis and ELISA testing result of 30 M. avium positive sera showed that GroES were cross-reactive to M. avium. Lastly, positive and negative tuberculosis reference sera and based on the mechanism of indirect ELISA, the specificity and the sensitivity of the methods targeting the antibodies HspX, GroES or CFP-10 were evaluated at 37% and 26%, 12% and 97%, 81% and 98%, respectively. The combination of these three antibody detection methods allowed to reached a specificity of 42%, and of 39% without taken into account of the method targeting the GroES antibody. Using proteomics approach, we found three M. tuberculosis specific antigens showed good potential in tuberculosis diagnosis, providing basic study for serodiagnosis of tuberculosis.
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