A Genomic Signature of Influenza Infection Shows Potential for Presymptomatic Detection, Guiding Early Therapy, and Monitoring Clinical Responses.
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Early, presymptomatic intervention with oseltamivir (corresponding to the onset of a published host-based genomic signature of influenza infection) resulted in decreased overall influenza symptoms (aggregate symptom scores of 23.5 vs 46.3), more rapid resolution of clinical disease (20 hours earlier), reduced viral shedding (total median tissue culture infectious dose [TCID50] 7.4 vs 9.7), and significantly reduced expression of several inflammatory cytokines (interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and others). The host genomic response to influenza infection is robust and may provide the means for early detection, more timely therapeutic interventions, a meaningful reduction in clinical disease, and an effective molecular means to track response to therapy.
Published Version (Please cite this version)
McClain, Micah T, Bradly P Nicholson, Lawrence P Park, Tzu-Yu Liu, Alfred O Hero, Ephraim L Tsalik, Aimee K Zaas, Timothy Veldman, et al. (2016). A Genomic Signature of Influenza Infection Shows Potential for Presymptomatic Detection, Guiding Early Therapy, and Monitoring Clinical Responses. Open Forum Infect Dis, 3(1). p. ofw007. 10.1093/ofid/ofw007 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11785.
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My research at Duke has focused on understanding the dynamic between host and pathogen so as to discover and develop host-response markers that can diagnose and predict health and disease. This new and evolving approach to diagnosing illness has the potential to significantly impact individual as well as public health considering the rise of antibiotic resistance.
With any potential infectious disease diagnosis, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine at the time of presentation what the underlying cause of illness is. For example, acute respiratory illness is among the most frequent reasons for patients to seek care. These symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, and fever may be due to a bacterial infection, viral infection, both, or a non-infectious condition such as asthma or allergies. Given the difficulties in making the diagnosis, most patients are inappropriately given antibacterials. However, each of these etiologies (bacteria, virus, or something else entirely) leaves a fingerprint embedded in the host’s response. We are very interested in finding those fingerprints and exploiting them to generate new approaches to understand, diagnose, and manage disease.
These principles also apply to sepsis, defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Just as with acute respiratory illness, it is often difficult to identify whether infection is responsible for a patient’s critical illness. We have embarked on a number of research programs that aim to better identify sepsis; define sepsis subtypes that can be used to guide future clinical research; and to better predict sepsis outcomes. These efforts have focused on many systems biology modalities including transcriptomics, miRNA, metabolomics, and proteomics. Consequently, our Data Science team has utilized these highly complex data to develop new statistical methods, furthering both the clinical and statistical research communities.
These examples are just a small sampling of the breadth of research Dr. Tsalik and his colleagues have conducted.
In April 2022, Dr. Tsalik has joined Danaher Diagnostics as the VP and Chief Scientific Officer for Infectious Disease, where he is applying this experience in biomarkers and diagnostics to shape the future of diagnostics in ID.
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