Lee, Sang-Yeop, et al. “Proteomics-based diagnostic peptide discovery for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in patients.” Clinical proteomics 19.1 (2022): 28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12014-022-09366-w
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus is an emerging infectious virus which causes severe hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, and leukopenia, with a high fatality rate. Since there is no approved therapeutics or vaccines for SFTS, early diagnosis is essential to manage this infectious disease.
Here, we tried to detect SFTS virus in serum samples from SFTS patients by proteomic analysis. Firstly, in order to obtain the reference MS/MS spectral data of SFTS virus, medium from infected Vero cell culture was used for shotgun proteomic analysis. Then, tryptic peptides in sera from SFTS patients were confirmed by comparative analysis with the reference MS/MS spectral data of SFTS virus.
Proteomic analysis of culture medium successfully discovered tryptic peptides from all the five antigen proteins of SFTS virus. The comparative spectral analysis of sera of SFTS patients revealed that the N-terminal tryptic peptide of the nucleocapsid (N) protein is the major epitope of SFTS virus detected in the patient samples. The prevalence of the peptides was strongly correlated with the viral load in the clinical samples.
Proteomic analysis of SFTS patient samples revealed that nucleocapsid (N) protein is the major antigen proteins in sera of SFTS patients and N-terminal tryptic peptide of the N protein might be a useful proteomic target for direct detection of SFTS virus. These findings suggest that proteomic analysis could be an alternative tool for detection of pathogens in clinical samples and diagnosis of infectious diseases.