The host-pathogen interactions induced by Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi A during enteric fever are poorly understood. This knowledge gap, and the human restricted nature of these bacteria, limit our understanding of the disease and impede the development of new diagnostic approaches. To investigate metabolite signals associated with enteric fever we performed mass spectrometry (GCxGC/TOFMS) on plasma from patients with Typhi and Paratyphi A infections and controls, identifying 695 individual metabolite peaks. Applying supervised pattern recognition, we found highly significant and reproducible metabolite profiles separating Typhi cases, Paratyphi A cases, and controls, calculating that a combination of six metabolites could define the etiological agent. For the first time we show that reproducible and serovar specific systemic biomarkers can be detected during enteric fever. Our work defines several biologically plausible metabolites that can be used to detect enteric fever, and unlocks the potential of this method in diagnosing other systemic bacterial infections.
Human subjects: The institutional ethical review boards of Patan Hospital and The Nepal Health Research Council and the Oxford Tropical Research Ethics Committee in the United Kingdom approved this study. All adult participants provided written informed consent for the collection and storage of all samples and subsequent data analysis, written informed consent was given for all those under 18 years of age by a parent or guardian (Arjyal et al. 2011).
- Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
© 2014, Näsström et al.
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The use of metabolomics could lead to improved diagnostics for enteric fever.
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