This study was performed to characterize the humoral immune responses with isotype profiles in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. PPD-Specific IgG and IgG subclasses were measured using ELISA in 212 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. The values of PPD-specific IgG were significantly higher in pulmonary tuberculosis patients than those in the control group, and were correlated to the severity of illness (P < 0.01). The specificity and sensitivity of ELISA for IgG antibodies were 1.0 and 0.81, respectively as determined in 212 sera from tuberculosis patients and 44 from healthy controls. The positive predictive value was 1.0 (171/171), while negative predictive value was 0.52 (44/85). The values of PPD-specific IgG were significantly decreased after 2-4 months of treatment. Among the moderately and far advanced pulmonary tuberculosis patients, the values of PPD-specific IgG were significantly decreased in responders after 6 months of treatment. However, PPD-specific IgG in nonresponders was increased (P < 0.01). PPD-specific IgG subclass responses were evident to all four IgG subclasses. No changes of isotype response according to the severity of the disease were observed.
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