Identifying diseases at an early, presymptomatic stage may offer the best chance for establishing proper treatment and improving patient outcomes. A new technique known as immunosignaturing harnesses the human immune system as an early warning sentryone acutely sensitive to changes in the body that may be harbingers of illness.
Now, Brian Andrew Chase and Barten Legutki, under the guidance of Stephen Albert Johnston, director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have shown that these immunosignatures are not only strong indicators of pre-symptomatic illness, but that samples from serum, plasma, saliva and dried blood can yield reliable and highly stable diagnostic results under a variety of conditions.
As Johnston explains, the new data advance the prospects for applying immunosignaturing as a sensitive, low-cost, universal system for assessing health status. "Our ultimate goal is to monitor the health of healthy people, so it is crucial we have a technique that is cheap, simple and, as we demonstrate here, robust."
The group's results recently appeared in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.
Immunosignaturing uses random sequence arrays of peptides to trawl for antibodies to disease. Previous work has demonstrated that a glass slide containing an array of some 10,000 such random sequences, each composed of 20 amino acids, can be used to screen the body's full complement of antibodies, when a single drop of blood is spread over its surface.
When the antibodies present in a sample of blood are splayed over the peptide array, they selectively bind to these peptides with varying degrees of affinity. Once the blood is washed away, a machine-readable image of immune activity is left behindthe immunosignaturepotentially providing pre-symptomatic diagnosis for a broad range of ailments, from infectious diseases to chronic afflictions to varied fo
Arizona State University