are reporting a discovery of the potential basis for a urine test to
diagnose community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), a difficult-to-diagnose
disease that is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The test could save lives by allowing doctors to begin the right
treatment earlier than often occurs at present. The study appears
online in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research.
In the new study, Carolyn Slupsky points out that a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes can cause pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae)
is among the germs that cause CAP. These microbes can be difficult to
detect using conventional blood tests, resulting in too-often delaying
the start of the right antibiotic to best treat the disease.
The scientists measured metabolites in the urine of patients with pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae
and compared these metabolite profiles to those of urine samples from
patients with other types of lung diseases, as well as pneumonia caused
by a variety of other microbes. They found that infection with S. pneumoniae
produces a distinct pattern of metabolites in much the same way that
that the distinct whorls and curves in fingerprints can identify
individuals. Identification of this pattern paves the way for more
rapid diagnosis so that patients can start treatment sooner with the
right medication, they say.
-- News release courtesy of American Chemical Society