Study of cytokine response against panel of purified Mycobacterium leprae antigens by using whole blood assay in subjects residing in a resettlement village of cured leprosy patients.
Mycobacterium leprae being an intracellular pathogen, cell mediated immunity is very important in the clinical outcome of leprosy. Manifestation of the disease is correlated with the level and type of cell mediated immune response. The main objective of this study was to analyse TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma production by T-cells when challenged with different M. leprae purified antigens in subjects with known exposure. 50 subjects residing in resettlement village of cured leprosy patients were included in the study. Whole Blood assay studies were undertaken in which the blood was placed in culture and was challenged with 35-kDa antigen, whole M. leprae cells, M. leprae cell wall antigen and M. leprae soluble antigen minus LAM. T-cell derived cytokines TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma were measured by ELISA. It was observed that challenging the lymphocytes with 35-kDa antigen, the cell wall antigen and M. leprae soluble antigen minus LAM resulted in increased levels of IFN-gamma whereas challenge with 35-kDa antigen and M. leprae cell wall antigen resulted in increased levels of TNF-alpha.