Mtb H37Rv Pasteur strain was cultured on Middlebrook 7H11 agar plates (BD Diagnostics) at 37°C. After 3 weeks, mycobacterial cells were harvested and extracted with chloroform, methanol and mixtures of chloroform‐methanol. The extracts were pooled, dried and partitioned with chloroform/methanol/water (8:4:2 v/v). Aqueous phase and chloroform phase were separated and evaporated to dryness. Presence of free GM3, sialyllactose and sialic acid in these extracts was analyzed by thin layer chromatography developed with chloroform/methanol/water (with 0.2% of CaCl2) (5:4:1 v/v). Thin layer chromatography plates were revealed with resorcinol, a reagent that specifically stains sialic acid or sialic acid‐derivatives with a distinctive brown‐violet or blue‐violet colour (Waters et al., 1992). Presence of total sialic acid in Mtb H37Rv chloroform and aqueous extracts was determined by acid hydrolysis with 1N HCl in methanol at 80°C for 2 h and thin layer chromatography analysis as explained above. Purified bovine milk ganglioside GM3, sialyllactose and sialic acid working standards (0.025 mg) were obtained from Sigma‐Aldrich.

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