Central nervous system (CNS) infections are common causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In this study the authors aimed to discover protein biomarkers that could rapidly and accurately identify the likely cause of the infections, essential for clinical management and improving outcome.
Liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry was performed on 45 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from a cohort of adults with/without CNS infections to discover potential diagnostic biomarkers. The diagnostic performance of a selected biomarker candidate was then validated in an independent cohort of 364 consecutively treated adults with CNS infections admitted to a referral hospital in Vietnam.
The authors identified Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) as a potential biomarker of bacterial meningitis (BM) other than tuberculous meningitis. From the analysis of the validation cohort authors could shoe that LCN2 could discriminate BM from a broad spectrum of other CNS infections, including tuberculous meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis and viral/antibody-mediated encephalitis. With a further prospective study it would be needed to assess the diagnostic utility of LCN2 in the diagnosis and management of CNS infections.