The development of an accurate and rapid diagnostic test for tuberculosis (TB) to use at point of need is vital to efforts aimed at reducing the global burden from this disease. This paper builds on our previous studies of mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) as a serum biomarker for active TB infection by means of a heterogeneous immunoassay. That work found that complexation with components in serum (e.g., proteins) sterically hindered the capture and/or labeling of ManLAM in an immunoassay at levels <10 ng mL −1 , compromising the clinical utility of this biomarker for detection of active TB infection. We also showed that the acidification of ManLAM-containing serum samples with perchloric acid improved the detectability of ManLAM by 250× by complex disruption when compared to measurements of untreated serum. The present study examined what effects the PCA treatment of serum samples may have on the recovery and structural integrity of ManLAM, owing to its potential susceptibility to acid hydrolysis. Recovery was assessed with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The possible impact of acid hydrolysis on the ManLAM structure was investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and carbohydrate chemical degradation methods. The ELISA study indicated that while the signal strength for ManLAM in the serum spike-in experiments was significantly stronger after PCA pretreatment when compared to untreated human serum, it was only ∼20% of the ManLAM measured in physiological buffer. This loss in detectability was shown by structural analysis to arise mainly from the acid-induced degradation of the arabinan domains of ManLAM that are targeted by antibodies used for antigen capture and/or tagging. The implications of these findings in terms of the detection of this important biomarker for TB are also discussed.
Owens, N. A., Young, C. C., Laurentius, L. B., De, P., Chatterjee, D., & Porter, M. D. (2019). Detection of the tuberculosis biomarker mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan in human serum: Impact of sample pretreatment with perchloric acid. Analytica Chimica Acta, 1046, 140–147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2018.09.037