IgA antibodies against phenolic glycolipid I from Mycobacterium leprae in serum of leprosy patients and contacts: subclass distribution and relation to disease activity.Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1989 Nov; 53(2 Pt 1):202-11.CI
The anti-PGL-I IgA response against phenolic glycolipid I (PGL-I) a specific surface antigen of Mycobacterium leprae, was demonstrated to be essentially of the IgA1 subclass in sera from leprosy patients and contacts. Anti-PGL-I IgA1 mean levels were found to increase significantly from the tuberculoid toward the lepromatous pole of the leprosy disease spectrum, thus resembling the predominating anti-PGL-I IgM response. Furthermore, anti-PGL-I IgA1 values were shown to increase significantly with increasing bacillary load, measured as bacillary index (BI) from skin biopsies. However, a number of BI negative leprosy patients recorded elevated anti-PGL-I IgA1 levels possibly reflecting a persistence of disease activity. Three of 28 household or family contacts of leprosy patients were detected seropositive for anti-PGL-I IgA1. Thus, our results suggest that anti-PGL-I IgA1 may be considered as an additional parameter for the early detection of infection with M. leprae.