Identification of serum biomarkers for active pulmonary tuberculosis using a targeted metabolomics approach

Yonggeun Cho, Youngmok Park, Bora Sim, Jungho Kim, Hyejon Lee, Sang Nae Cho, Young Ae Kang, Sang Guk Lee

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Although tuberculosis (TB) is a severe health problem worldwide, the current diagnostic methods are far from optimal. Metabolomics is increasingly being used in the study of infectious diseases. We performed metabolome profiling to identify potential biomarkers in patients with active TB. Serum samples from 21 patients with active pulmonary TB, 20 subjects with latent TB infection (LTBI), and 28 healthy controls were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) followed by multivariate and univariate analyses. Metabolic profiles indicated higher serum levels of glutamate, sulfoxy methionine, and aspartate and lower serum levels of glutamine, methionine, and asparagine in active TB patients than in LTBI subjects or healthy controls. The ratios between metabolically related partners (glutamate/glutamine, sulfoxy methionine/methionine, and aspartate/asparagine) were also elevated in the active TB group. There was no significant difference in the serum concentration of these metabolites according to the disease extent or risk of relapse in active TB patients. Novel serum biomarkers such as glutamate, sulfoxy methionine, aspartate, glutamine, methionine, and asparagine are potentially useful for adjunctive, rapid, and noninvasive pulmonary TB diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3825
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

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© 2020, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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