Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an ideal platform for the metabolic analysis of biofluids due to its high reproducibility, nondestructiveness, nonselectivity in metabolite detection, and the ability to simultaneously quantify multiple classes of metabolites. Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic wasting inflammatory disease characterized by multisystem involvement, which can cause metabolic derangements in afflicted patients. In this study, we combined multivariate pattern recognition (PR) analytical techniques with 1H NMR spectroscopy to explore the metabolic profile of sera from TB patients. A total of 77 serum samples obtained from patients with TB (n = 38) and healthy controls (n = 39) were investigated. Orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was capable of distinguishing TB patients from controls and establishing a TB-specific metabolite profile. A total of 17 metabolites differed significantly in concentration between the two groups. Serum samples from TB patients were characterized by increased concentrations of 1-methylhistidine, acetoacetate, acetone, glutamate, glutamine, isoleucine, lactate, lysine, nicotinate, phenylalanine, pyruvate, and tyrosine, accompanied by reduced concentrations of alanine, formate, glycine, glycerolphosphocholine, and low-density lipoproteins relative to control subjects. Our study reveals the metabolic profile of sera from TB patients and indicates that NMR-based methods can distinguish TB patients from healthy controls. NMR-based metabolomics has the potential to be developed into a novel clinical tool for TB diagnosis or therapeutic monitoring and could contribute to an improved understanding of disease mechanisms.
- systems biology
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