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J Proteome Res. 2009 Dec;8(12):5550-8. doi: 10.1021/pr9006427.

Pneumococcal pneumonia: potential for diagnosis through a urinary metabolic profile.

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Department of Medicine, Magnetic Resonance Diagnostic Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Pneumonia, an infection of the lower respiratory tract, is caused by any of a number of different microbial organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) causes a significant number of deaths worldwide, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. However, the pathogen(s) responsible for CAP can be difficult to identify, often leading to delays in appropriate antimicrobial therapies. In the present study, we use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to quantitatively measure the profile of metabolites excreted in the urine of patients with pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and other microbes. We found that the urinary metabolomic profile for pneumococcal pneumonia was significantly different from the profiles for viral and other bacterial forms of pneumonia. These data demonstrate that urinary metabolomic profiles may be useful for the effective diagnosis of CAP.

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