Metabolic Profiling of Central Nervous System Disease in Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection

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Title: Metabolic Profiling of Central Nervous System Disease in Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection
Authors: Lamour, SD
Alibu, VP
Holmes, E
Sternberg, JM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The progression of Human African Trypanosomiasis from the early hemolymphatic stage to the late meningoencephalitic stage is of critical diagnostic importance as it determines the choice of potentially toxic drug regimens. Current diagnostic criteria involving analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for parasites and/or pleiocytosis are sensitive, but recent evidence suggests that specificity may be poor. METHODS: We used an untargeted global metabolic profiling approach for the discovery of novel candidate stage diagnostic markers in CSF from Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense patients using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. RESULTS: Metabolic markers did not resolve early and late stage cases but were associated with neuro-inflammatory responses and the presentation of neurological disturbances. In particular increased 3-hydroxybutyrate and alanine and reduced concentrations of mannose and urea were discriminatory for the presentation of daytime somnolence and gait ataxia. CONCLUSIONS: CSF metabolite concentrations provide markers for neuroinflammatory responses during CNS invasion by trypanosomes and are associated with the presentation of neurological disturbances independently of disease stage determined by current criteria. This suggests that applying a dichotomous stage diagnosis on the basis of CSF pleiocytosis does not accurately reflect the biological changes occurring as parasites invade the CNS and has implications for biomarker discovery strategies.
Issue Date: 12-Sep-2017
Date of Acceptance: 30-Aug-2017
ISSN: 0022-1899
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Start Page: 1273
End Page: 1280
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume: 216
Issue: 10
Copyright Statement: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: G1000390
Keywords: CNS
Human African trypanosomiasis
metabolic profiling
neurological symptoms
nuclear magnetic resonance
11 Medical And Health Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Faculty of Medicine

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