Volume 934 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 145-164


Exploring the Diagnostic Potential of Immune Biomarker Coexpression in Gulf War Illness

  • Gordon BroderickAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Alberta Email author 
  • , Mary Ann FletcherAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, University of MiamiMiami Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • , Michael GallagherAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, University of Calgary
  • , Zachary BarnesAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, University of Miami
  • , Suzanne D. VernonAffiliated withThe CFIDS Association of America
  • , Nancy G. KlimasAffiliated withMiami Veterans Affairs Medical CenterInstitute for Neuro-immune Medicine, Nova Southeastern University

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Complex disorders like Gulf War Illness (GWI) often defy diagnosis on the basis of a single biomarker and may only be distinguishable by considering the coexpression of multiple markers measured in response to a challenge. We demonstrate the practical application of such an approach using an example where blood was collected from 26 GWI, 13 healthy control subjects, and 9 unhealthy controls with Chronic Fatigue at three points during a graded exercise challenge. A 3-way multivariate projection model based on 12 markers of endocrine and immune function was constructed using a training set of n = 10 GWI and n = 11 healthy controls. These groups were separated almost completely on the basis of two coexpression patterns. In a separate test set these same features allowed for discrimination of new GWI subjects (n = 16) from unhealthy (n = 9) and healthy control subjects with a sensitivity of 70% and a specificity of 90%.

Key words

Cytokine profile Coexpression patterns Exercise response Gulf War Illness Regression model Diagnostic classification Partial least squares Batch partial least squares