Serum microRNA expression profile as a biomarker for the diagnosis of pertussis
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- Ge, Y., Zhao, K., Qi, Y. et al. Mol Biol Rep (2013) 40: 1325. doi:10.1007/s11033-012-2176-9
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Pertussis is a highly contagious, respiratory disease associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. A rapid and reliable diagnostic method is essential for appropriate treatment and prevention. Expression profiles of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proven as new non-invasive biomarkers for infectious diseases. We aimed to investigated the serum miRNA profile in pertussis patients and explored its potential as a novel diagnostic biomarker for pertussis. Among 664 different miRNAs analyzed using a miRNA array, 50 were overexpressed and 81 were underexpressed in the serum of pertussis patients. Expression levels of seven candidate miRNAs were further evaluated by real-time qRT-PCR. A panel of five miRNAs (miR-202, miR-342-5p, miR-206, miR-487b, miR-576-5p) was confirmed overexpressed in pertussis patients (p < 0.05). Risk score and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that the area under the curve of the five-member miRNA profile was 0.980. At an optimal cutoff value (0.707), this panel of miRNAs yielded a sensitivity of 97.4 % and a specificity of 94.3 %. These data suggest that the five-member serum miRNA profile may serve as a new biomarker for pertussis diagnosis with high specificity and sensitivity.