Molecular cartography in acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infections—a non-targeted metabolomics approach


Infections with Chlamydia pneumoniae cause several respiratory diseases, such as community-acquired pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis. Here, we present an integrated non-targeted metabolomics analysis applying ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry and ultra-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to determine metabolite alterations in C. pneumoniae-infected HEp-2 cells. Most important permutations are elaborated using uni- and multivariate statistical analysis, logD retention time regression and mass defect-based network analysis. Classes of metabolites showing high variations upon infection are lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids. Moreover, we observed several non-annotated compounds as predominantly abundant after infection, which are promising biomarker candidates for drug-target and diagnostic research.

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Direct injection


Elementary bodies


Electrospray ionization


Fetal calf serum




Oxidized glutathione


Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography


Ion cyclotron resonance Fourier transform mass spectrometry

m/z :





Non-essential amino acids




Principal component analysis


Partial least square discriminative analysis


Reversed phase


Signal-to-noise ratio


Ultra-performance liquid chromatography


Variable importance in projection


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This work received financial support from the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics ‘Pathomics’ (0315442C).

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Correspondence to Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin.

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Published in the topical collection Metabolomics and Metabolite Profiling with guest editors Rainer Schuhmacher, Rudolf Krska, Roy Goodacre, and Wolfram Weckwerth.

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Müller, C., Dietz, I., Tziotis, D. et al. Molecular cartography in acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infections—a non-targeted metabolomics approach. Anal Bioanal Chem 405, 5119–5131 (2013).

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  • Mass spectrometry
  • Host–pathogen interactions
  • Liquid chromatography