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Journal Article

In the Search of Potential Serodiagnostic Proteins to Discriminate Between Acute and Chronic Q Fever in Humans. Some Promising Outcomes


Xie,  Hao       
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Psaroulaki, A., Mathioudaki, E., Vranakis, I., Chochlakis, D., Yachnakis, E., Kokkini, S., et al. (2020). In the Search of Potential Serodiagnostic Proteins to Discriminate Between Acute and Chronic Q Fever in Humans. Some Promising Outcomes. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 10: 557027. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2020.557027.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-44E1-E
Coxiella burnetii is the agent that causes acute and chronic Q fever infections in humans. Although the isolates studied so far have shown that the two forms of the disease differ in virulence potential thus, implying a variance in their proteomic profile, the methods used do not deliver enough discriminatory capability and often, human infections may be mis-diagnosed. The current study adds further knowledge to the results that we have already published on the Coxiella outer membrane protein 1 (Com1). Herein we identified the proteins GroEL, Ybgf, OmpH, and UPF0422 as candidates for serodiagnostics of Q fever; following cloning, expression and purification they were further used as antigens in ELISA for the screening of patients' sera associated with chronic Q fever endocarditis, sera negative for phase I IgG, sera with at least one sample positive for phase I IgG and sera from patients who suffered from various rheumatic diseases. Blood donors were used as the controls. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and Cohen's kappa coefficient (κ) were calculated and we also performed binary logistic regression analysis to identify combinations of proteins with increased diagnostic yield. We found that proteins GroEL and Ybgf, together with Com1, play the most significant role in the correct diagnosis of chronic Q fever. Of these three proteins, it was shown that Com1 and GroEL present the highest sensitivity and specificity altogether. The results add to the existing knowledge that an antigen-based serodiagnostic test that will be able to correctly diagnose chronic Q fever may not be far from reality.