Serological specificity of phenolic glycolipid I from Mycobacterium leprae and use in serodiagnosis of leprosy.Infect Immun. 1983 Sep; 41(3):1077-83.II
The serological activities of the specific phenolic glycolipid I from Mycobacterium leprae, its dissected parts, and related glycolipids from other mycobacteria were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against hyperimmune anti-M. leprae rabbit antiserum and sera from patients with leprosy and other mycobacterial diseases. High anti-phenolic glycolipid I immunoglobulin M antibodies were found in 23 of 24 (96%) of lepromatous leprosy patients on short term chemotherapy and in 8 of 13 tuberculoid leprosy patients (62%). Sera from patients with tuberculosis or atypical mycobacterial infections were devoid of anti-phenolic glycolipid I activity. The structurally related phenolic glycolipids from Mycobacterium kansasii and Mycobacterium bovis and the aglycone segments of the M. leprae product showed no significant activity. Thus, the trisaccharide determinant of phenolic glycolipid I is specific in its structure, serological activity, and, to a lesser extent, the antibody class it evokes.