Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2017 03 27114(15) 3969-3974 doi 10.1073/pnas.1621360114
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health threat, resulting in an urgent unmet need for a rapid, non-sputum-based quantitative test to detect active Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections in clinically diverse populations and quickly assess Mtb treatment responses for emerging drug-resistant strains. We have identified Mtb-specific peptide fragments and developed a method to rapidly quantify their serum concentrations, using antibody-labeled and energy-focusing porous discoidal silicon nanoparticles (nanodisks) and high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS) to enhance sensitivity and specificity. NanoDisk-MS diagnosed active Mtb cases with high sensitivity and specificity in a case-control study with cohorts reflecting the complexity of clinical practice. Similar robust sensitivities were obtained for cases of culture-positive pulmonary TB (PTB; 91.3%) and extrapulmonary TB (EPTB; 92.3%), and the sensitivities obtained for culture-negative PTB (82.4%) and EPTB (75.0%) in HIV-positive patients significantly outperformed those reported for other available assays. NanoDisk-MS also exhibited high specificity (87.1-100%) in both healthy and high-risk groups. Absolute quantification of serum Mtb antigen concentration was informative in assessing responses to antimycobacterial treatment. Thus, a NanoDisk-MS assay approach could significantly improve the diagnosis and management of active TB cases, and perhaps other infectious diseases as well.