Immunological detection of pyrazine-2- carboxylic acid for the detection of pyrazinamide resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Edgar A. Florentini, Noelia Angulo, Robert H. Gilman, Roberto Alcántara, Elisa Roncal, Ricardo Antiparra, Emily Toscano, Katherine Vallejos, Danni Kirwan, Mirko Zimic, Patricia Sheen

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Pyrazinamide (PZA) susceptibility testing in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a current area of development and PZA-resistant strains are increasingly prevalent. Previous studies have demonstrated that the detection of pyrazinoic acid (POA), the metabolite produced by the deamidation of PZA, is a good predictor for PZA resistance since a resistant strain would not convert PZA into POA at a critical required rate, whereas a susceptible strain will do, expelling POA to the extracellular environment at a certain rate, and allowing for quantification of this accumulated analyte. In order to quantify POA, an indirect competitive ELISA (icELISA) test using hyperimmune polyclonal rabbit serum against POA was developed: For this purpose, pure POA was first covalently linked to the highly immunogenic Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanine, and inoculated in rabbits. A construct made of bovine serum albumin (BSA) linked to pure POA and fixed at the bottom of wells was used as a competitor against spiked samples and liquid Mtb culture supernatants. When spiked samples (commercial POA alone) were analyzed, the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 1.16 mg/ mL, the limit of detection 200 μg/mL and the assay was specific (it did not detect PZA, IC50 > 20 mg/mL). However, culture supernatants (7H9-OADC-PANTA medium) disrupted the competition and a proper icELISA curve was not obtainable. We consider that, although we have shown that it is feasible to induce antibodies against POA, matrix effects could damage its analytical usefulness; multiple, upcoming ways to solve this obstacle are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0241600
JournalPloS one
Issue number11 November
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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