A Simplified Serological Test for Leprosy Based on a 3,6-di-O-Methylglucose-Containing Synthetic Antigen

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  • Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523

The recent advent of synthetic antigens containing the Mycobacterium leprae-specific epitope, 3,6-di-O-methyl-β-d-glucopyranoside, has allowed the development of simple specific serological tests for leprosy. The incorporation of one such product, 8-carbonyloctylO-[4-O-(3,6-di-O-methyl-β-d-glucopyranosyl)-α-l-rhamnopyranoside]-BSA, into a simple “spot” test, diffusion-in-gel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), allowed an over 90% detection rate of untreated lepromatous leprosy, and the results showed good concordance with conventional ELISA based on the native phenolic glycolipid I.