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Carroll C.S.,Simon Fraser University | Amankwa L.N.,Center for Drug Research and Development | Pinto L.J.,Simon Fraser University | Fuller J.D.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health and Microbiology | Moore M.M.,Simon Fraser University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a life-threatening systemic mycosis caused primarily by Aspergillus fumigatus. Early diagnosis of IA is based, in part, on an immunoassay for circulating fungal cell wall carbohydrate, galactomannan (GM). However, a wide range of sensitivity and specificity rates have been reported for the GM test across various patient populations. To obtain iron in vivo, A. fumigatus secretes the siderophore, N, N′,N′-triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC) and we hypothesize that TAFC may represent a possible biomarker for early detection of IA. We developed an ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method for TAFC analysis from serum, and measured TAFC in serum samples collected from patients at risk for IA. The method showed lower and upper limits of quantitation (LOQ) of 5 ng/ml and 750 ng/ml, respectively, and complete TAFC recovery from spiked serum. As proof of concept, we evaluated 76 serum samples from 58 patients with suspected IA that were investigated for the presence of GM. Fourteen serum samples obtained from 11 patients diagnosed with probable or proven IA were also analyzed for the presence of TAFC. Control sera (n = 16) were analyzed to establish a TAFC cut-off value (>6 ng/ml). Of the 36 GM-positive samples (>0.5 GM index) from suspected IA patients, TAFC was considered positive in 25 (69%). TAFC was also found in 28 additional GM-negative samples. TAFC was detected in 4 of the 14 samples (28%) from patients with proven/probable aspergillosis. Log-transformed TAFC and GM values from patients with proven/probable IA, healthy individuals and SLE patients showed a significant correlation with a Pearson rvalue of 0.77. In summary, we have developed a method for the detection of TAFC in serum that revealed this fungal product in the sera of patients at risk for invasive aspergillosis. A prospective study is warranted to determine whether this method provides improved early detection of IA. © 2016 Carroll et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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