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Bacteriologic diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis is difficult, and alternate methods are needed. The utility of a serologic test for major secretory antigen (30 kDa) and a cytosolic antigen (16 kDa) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was evaluated for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children.Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used. Specific IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies were measured in the sera from 26 clinically and/or bacteriologically diagnosed cases of childhood tuberculosis and 61 normal children.Anti-IgG antibodies alone, against both 30- and 16-kDa antigens, were detected in 65.4% of patients. However, by combination of all three isotypes, increased sensitivities of 84.6 and 73%, with a specificity of 96.7% each, were obtained for 30- and 16-kDa antigens, respectively.We found good specificity and reasonably good sensitivity for detection of antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to 30-kDa antigen alone. The 16-kDa antigen did not perform as well.