Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 11, pp 2283–2290 | Cite as

Shedding light on confounding factors likely to affect salivary infrared biosignatures

  • Stéphane Derruau
  • Cyril Gobinet
  • Adeline Mateu
  • Valérie Untereiner
  • Sandrine Lorimier
  • Olivier PiotEmail author
Research Paper


Total human saliva is a biofluid which can be considered as a “mirror” reflecting the state of the body’s health. The “spectral mid-infrared fingerprint” represents a snapshot of the intrinsic biomolecular composition of a saliva sample translating multiple information about the patient, and likely to be related not only to his physiopathological status but also to his behavioral habits or even current medical treatments. These different patient-related characteristics are “confounding factors,” which may strongly affect the infrared data of salivary samples and disrupt the search for specific salivary biomarkers in the detection of diseases, especially in the case of complex pathologies influenced by multiple risk factors such as genetic factors and behavioral factors, and also other comorbidities. In this study, dealing with the processing of infrared saliva spectra from 56 patients, our aim was to highlight spectral features associated with some patient characteristics, namely tobacco smoking, periodontal diseases, and gender. By using multivariate statistical methods of feature selection (principal component analysis coupled with Kruskal–Wallis test, linear discriminant analysis coupled with randfeatures function), we were able to identify the discriminant vibrations associated with a specific factor and to assess the related spectral variability. Based on the methodology demonstrated here, it could be very valuable in the future to develop processing aimed at neutralizing these variabilities, in order to determine specific spectroscopic markers related to a multifactorial disease for diagnostic or follow-up purposes.


Infrared spectroscopy Saliva Confounding factors Spectral variability Diagnostic biosignatures 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Association Française pour la Recherche sur l’Hidrosadénite (AFRH) and the Association Française d’Épargne et de Retraite (AFER).

The authors thank Dr. Marie-Pascale Hippolyte, University Hospital of Reims, for improving the English presentation of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the French Ethics Committee for the Protection of Individuals Consenting to Biomedical Research (No. 18019), by the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (2018-A0016451), and by (NCT03553888).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stéphane Derruau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cyril Gobinet
    • 1
  • Adeline Mateu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valérie Untereiner
    • 3
  • Sandrine Lorimier
    • 2
    • 4
  • Olivier Piot
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.BioSpecT EA7506, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Reims Champagne-ArdenneReims CedexFrance
  2. 2.Oral Medicine DepartmentUniversity Hospital of ReimsReims CedexFrance
  3. 3.Platform of Cellular and Tissular Imaging (PICT-URCA)University of Reims Champagne-ArdenneReims CedexFrance
  4. 4.GRESPI, EA 4694, Research Group in Engineering SciencesUniversity of Reims Champagne-ArdenneReims Cedex 2France

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