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Circulating Mycobacterium bovis peptides and host response proteins as biomarkers for unambiguous detection of subclinical infection

Elise A. Lamont, Harish K. Janagama, Joao Ribeiro-Lima, Lucy Vulchanova, Meetu Seth, My Yang, Kiran Kurmi, W. Ray Waters, Tyler Thacker, Srinand Sreevatsan
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2014 v.52 no.2 pp. 536-543
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium kansasii, bacterial proteins, binding proteins, biomarkers, blood proteins, blood serum, bovine tuberculosis, cattle, data collection, diagnostic techniques, disease diagnosis, monitoring, pathogens, peptides, vitamin D
Bovine tuberculosis remains one of the most damaging diseases to agriculture, and there is also a concern for human spillover. A critical need exists for rapid, thorough, and inexpensive diagnostic methods capable of detecting and differentiating Mycobacterium bovis infection from other pathogenic and environmental mycobacteria at multiple surveillance levels. In a previous study, Seth et al. (PLoS One 4:e5478, 2009, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005478) identified 32 host peptides that specifically increased in the blood serum of M. bovis-infected animals). In the current study, 16 M. bovis proteins were discovered in the blood serum proteomics data sets. A large-scale validation analysis was undertaken for selected host and M. bovis proteins using a cattle serum repository containing M. bovis (n = 128), Mycobacterium kansasii (n = 10), and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (n = 10), cases exposed to M. bovis (n = 424), and negative controls (n = 38). Of the host biomarkers, vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) showed the greatest sensitivity and specificity for M. bovis detection. Circulating M. bovis proteins, specifically polyketide synthetase 5, detected M. bovis-infected cattle with little to no seroreactivity against M. kansasii- and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-infected animals. These data indicate that host and pathogen serum proteins can serve as reliable biomarkers for tracking M. bovis infection in animal populations.