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Biosignatures distinguish between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis
Date:5/7/2012

This press release is available in German.

With a range of diseases, doctors need unique features which they can use to unequivocally identify a patient's illness for an appropriate diagnosis. Scientists therefore search for the biomarkers for an illness or a combination of biomarkers, known as biosignatures, which are as easy as possible to measure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin have now created complete gene and microRNA expression profiles together with important inflammatory mediators in the blood of tuberculosis and sarcoidosis patients. Although they have identified a signature that distinguishes healthy individuals from patients, the biosignatures of both diseases are nevertheless very similar. It is almost impossible, therefore, to distinguish between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis with just a single signature. A set of different biosignatures is better suited for distinguishing in a first step between diseased and healthy individuals and, in a further step, between the specific diseases.

Biosignatures cover a profile of different features, which can be used to identify diseases and distinguish them from similar clinical pictures. These features include the presence of mediators and gene expression profiles in the blood. In recent years, for example, researchers have discovered signatures for tuberculosis, which doctors can use to distinguish between patients with tuberculosis and healthy individuals.

Equally important is the distinction between different diseases with similar clinical appearance, such as tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. Therefore, using gene and microRNA expression in blood cells and inflammatory mediators in serum, the scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology selected sets of markers characteristic for tuberculosis and sarcoidosis patients. Although both
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Contact: Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
kaufmann@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de
49-302-846-0500
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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Biosignatures distinguish between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis
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