Diagnostic Antigens for the Identification of Latent Tuberculosis Infection

CDC researchers have developed technology for sero-diagnosis of typically symptomless latent stage tuberculosis disease, posing a threat to individuals under immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory therapies. Specifically, this diagnostic approach exploits M. tuberculosis secreted latency specific antigens, such as alpha-crystallin, in the blood or urine of patients. This type of test could easily be developed into an inexpensive dip-stick format with high specificity (no cross-reactivity with other mycobacteria), rapidity, and sensitivity (fewer bacteria needed for a positive identification). Because secreted antigens are recognized more readily by the immune system, serum-derived antibodies to these antigens can correspondingly be used for diagnostic or research use.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Development of a latent tuberculosis diagnostic
  • Improvements to current diagnostics
  • Public health/tuberculosis monitoring programs
  • Screening elderly patients before beginning anti-inflammatory and/or anti-arthritis therapy
  • Rapid and inexpensive diagnostic for latent stage tuberculosis
  • Specific for latent form, unlike current IGRA/TST diagnostics
  • Easily developed as a cost effective dip-stick test
  • Provides high specificity (no cross-reactivity with other mycobacteria) and sensitivity (fewer bacteria needed for a positive identification)

Development Stage:
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (human)


Manon Deslauriers (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Kristin Birkness (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Frederick Quinn (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Peter King (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 7,105,170 issued 2006-09-12
PCT Application No. PCT/US2002/000309 filed on 2002-01-07
US Application No. 10/250,930 filed on 2004-02-17
Various international patents issued or pending

Stewart JN, et al. PMID 16385133

Licensing Contact:
Jeremiah Mitzelfelt,
Email: jeremiah.mitzelfelt@nih.gov
Phone: 301-443-8518

OTT Reference No: E-249-2013-1
Updated: Feb 7, 2014