Leptospirosis is a zoonotic infectious disease of tropical, subtropical and temperate zones, which is caused by the pathogenic spirochetes of genus Leptospira. Although this zoonosis is generally not considered as fatal, the pathogen can eventually cause severe infection with septic shock, multi-organ failure and lethal pulmonary hemorrhages leading to mortality. In this study, we have performed a proteomic analysis of serum samples from leptospirosis patients (n = 6), febrile controls (falciparum malaria) (n = 8) and healthy subjects (n = 18) to obtain an insight about disease pathogenesis and host immune responses in leptospiral infections. 2DE and 2D-DIGE analysis in combination with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS revealed differential expression of 22 serum proteins in leptospirosis patients compared to the healthy controls. Among the identified differentially expressed proteins, 8 candidates exhibited different trends compared to the febrile controls. Functional analysis suggested the involvement of differentially expressed proteins in vital physiological pathways, including acute phase response, complement and coagulation cascades and hemostasis. This is the first report of analysis of human serum proteome alterations in leptospirosis patients, which revealed several differentially expressed proteins, including α-1-antitrypsin, vitronectin, ceruloplasmin, G-protein signaling regulator, apolipoprotein A-IV, which have not been reported in context of leptospirosis previously. This study will enhance our understanding about leptospirosis pathogenesis and provide a glimpse of host immunological responses. Additionally, a few differentially expressed proteins identified in this study may further be investigated as diagnostic or prognostic serum biomarkers for leptospirosis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Integrated omics.
- Acute phase signaling
- Mass spectrometry