Comprehensive plasma proteomic profiling reveals biomarkers for active tuberculosis

More about Open Access at the Crick


BACKGROUNDTuberculosis (TB) kills more people than any other infection, and new diagnostic tests to identify active cases are required. We aimed to discover and verify novel markers for TB in nondepleted plasma.METHODSWe applied an optimized quantitative proteomics discovery methodology based on multidimensional and orthogonal liquid chromatographic separation combined with high-resolution mass spectrometry to study nondepleted plasma of 11 patients with active TB compared with 10 healthy controls. Prioritized candidates were verified in independent UK (n = 118) and South African cohorts (n = 203).RESULTSWe generated the most comprehensive TB plasma proteome to date, profiling 5022 proteins spanning 11 orders-of-magnitude concentration range with diverse biochemical and molecular properties. We analyzed the predominantly low-molecular weight subproteome, identifying 46 proteins with significantly increased and 90 with decreased abundance (peptide FDR ≤ 1%, q ≤ 0.05). Verification was performed for novel candidate biomarkers (CFHR5, ILF2) in 2 independent cohorts. Receiver operating characteristics analyses using a 5-protein panel (CFHR5, LRG1, CRP, LBP, and SAA1) exhibited discriminatory power in distinguishing TB from other respiratory diseases (AUC = 0.81).CONCLUSIONWe report the most comprehensive TB plasma proteome to date, identifying novel markers with verification in 2 independent cohorts, leading to a 5-protein biosignature with potential to improve TB diagnosis. With further development, these biomarkers have potential as a diagnostic triage test.FUNDINGColciencias, Medical Research Council, Innovate UK, NIHR, Academy of Medical Sciences, Program for Advanced Research Capacities for AIDS, Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research.

Journal details

Journal JCI insight
Volume 5
Issue number 18
Pages e137427
Available online
Publication date

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author