Using the traditional ex vivo whole blood model to discriminate bacteria by their inducible host responses.

Heather M. Chick, Megan E. Rees, Matthew L. Lewis, Lisa Williams, Owen Bodger, Llinos G. Harris, Steven Rushton, Thomas S. Wilkinson

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Whole blood models are rapid and versatile for determining immune responses to inflammatory and infectious stimuli, but they have not been used for bacterial discrimination. Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Escherichia coli are the most common causes of invasive disease and rapid testing strategies utilising host responses remain elusive. Currently immune responses can only discriminate between bacterial ‘domains’ (fungi, bacteria and viruses) and very few studies can use immune responses to discriminate bacteria at the species and strain level. Here, whole blood was used to investigate the relationship between host responses and bacterial strains. Results confirmed unique temporal profiles for the ten parameters studied; IL-6, MIP-1α, MIP-3α, IL-10, resistin, phagocytosis, S100A8, S100A8/A9, C5a and TF3. Pairwise analysis confirmed that IL-6, resistin, phagocytosis, C5a and S100A8/A9 could be used in a discrimination scheme to identify to the strain level. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) confirmed that; i) IL-6, MIP-3α and TF3 could predict genera with 95% accuracy; ii) IL-6, phagocytosis, resistin and TF3 could predict species at 90% accuracy and iii) phagocytosis, S100A8 and IL-10 predicted strain at 40% accuracy. These data are important be-cause they confirm the proof of concept that host biomarker panels could be used to identify bac-terial pathogens.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Mar 2024


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