A monoclonal antibody (MAbIII604) specific to phenolic glycolipid Tb (PGL- Tb), a Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific antigen, was produced and used in the detection of the antigen. MAbIII604 reacted with the PGL-Tb antigen but not with other phenolic glycolipids from Mycobacterium leprae, M. bovis, and M. kansasii, thus indicating the specificity of the monoclonal antibody to PGL-Tb. A dot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with MAbIII604 was employed to detect the PGL-Tb antigen in lipids purified from M. tuberculosis clinical isolates. Of 50 isolates, 32 (64.0%) showed clear evidence of the PGL-Tb antigen by the dot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, but there were marked variations in the intensities and sizes of spots. This suggests differences in PGL-Tb antigen production among M. tuberculosis strains even when they are grown in the same culture media and conditions. This was most evident from the fact that in only eight (16.0%) of the isolates examined was the PGL-Tb antigen detectable by thin-layer chromatography, which is much less sensitive for the detection of glycolipid antigens. This study shows that monoclonal antibodies specific to PGL-Tb are useful in detecting the antigen in lipid extracts and that there is a marked variation in the PGL-Tb production among M. tuberculosis clinical isolates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)