Specific anti-M leprae PGL-I antibodies and Mitsuda reaction in the management of household contacts in New Caledonia.Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1989 Dec; 57(4):794-800.IJ
Household contacts of leprosy patients have been tested for anti-phenolic glycolipid-I IgM antibodies (anti-PGL-I IgM) by an ELISA using the natural disaccharide (NDO) and natural trisaccharide (NTO) synthetic antigens. A group of healthy subjects without known exposure to Mycobacterium leprae served as controls. The percentages of positivity observed in multibacillary patients, paucibacillary patients, and household contacts were significantly higher than those of the negative controls. The absorbance values using NDO and NTO correlated well (range 0.59-0.91) when analysis of each subject group was performed. As reported here, NDO and NTO antigens seem to be equal in detecting leprosy cases; 100% of multibacillary and 21.43% of paucibacillary cases were detected as seropositive. For the screening of household contacts, NDO appears to be more sensitive and NTO more specific. There were more seropositive cases in the young age groups of household contacts, suggesting a higher rate of transmission of M. leprae infection in those age groups. Lepromin and anti-PGL-I IgG tests were also performed in contacts who were followed. The 2 paucibacillary subjects (1 borderline tuberculoid, 1 indeterminate) were Mitsuda negative. At diagnosis, their anti-PGL-I IgM levels were much higher than those of previous results; their anti-PGL-I IgG levels showed an increase in one and a decrease in the other. However, for the entire group anti-PGL-I IgM and anti-PGL-I IgG levels were positively correlated. The data reported here suggest that an increase in specific anti-M. leprae IgM levels in Mitsuda-negative household contacts could reveal the development of overt disease.