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Com1 as a Promising Protein for the Differential Diagnosis of the Two Forms of Q Fever

Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Unit of Zoonoses, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece
Laboratory of Biochemistry, School of Science and Engineering, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 71110 Heraklion, Greece
Intensive Care Unit, General Hospital of Agios Nikolaos, 72100 Agios Nikolaos, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 242;
Received: 19 September 2019 / Revised: 7 November 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of acute and chronic Q fever in humans. Although the isolates studied so far showed a difference in virulence potential between those causing the two forms of the disease, implying a difference in their proteomic profile, the methods used so far to diagnose the two forms of the disease do not provide sufficient discriminatory capability, and human infections may be often misdiagnosed. The aim of the current study was to identify the outer membrane Com1 (CBU_1910) as a candidate protein for serodiagnostics of Q fever. The protein was cloned, expressed, purified, and used as an antigen in ELISA. The protein was then used for the screening of sera from patients suffering from chronic Q fever endocarditis, patients whose samples were negative for phase I immunoglobulin G (IgG), patients for whom at least one sample was positive for phase I IgG, and patients suffering from any kind of rheumatoid disease. Blood donors were used as the control group. Following statistical analysis, 92.4% (122/132) of the samples tested agreed with the negative clinical diagnosis, and 72.2% (26/36) agreed with the positive clinical diagnosis. Moreover, a significant correlation to the presence of the disease (p = 0.00) was calculated. The results support the idea that a Com1 antigen-based serodiagnostic test may be useful for differential diagnosis of chronic Q fever. Further studies are required to compare more immunogenic proteins of the bacterium against samples originating from patients suffering from different forms of the disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: Com1; Coxiella burnetii; antigenic; Q fever; ELISA Com1; Coxiella burnetii; antigenic; Q fever; ELISA
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Vranakis, I.; Mathioudaki, E.; Kokkini, S.; Psaroulaki, A. Com1 as a Promising Protein for the Differential Diagnosis of the Two Forms of Q Fever. Pathogens 2019, 8, 242.

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