Blood-based biomarkers have an advantage in that they are suitable for large scale studies with the ease of venepuncture and allowing for repeatability in clinical settings.
A previous proteomics study using SELDI-TOF showed decreased levels of TTR in plasma of MAP exposed sheep . Conversely an increase in plasma TTR levels was found in MAP infected cattle . Noteworthy low levels of vitamin A, correlating with reduced TTR and raised concentrations of C-reactive protein, have been reported in patients with tuberculosis [10, 11].
Given some studies linking MAP to T1D , and the reported reduction of TTR plasma levels, in T1D patients compared to HCs , we sought to investigate if MAP infection is associated to TTR down-regulation in humans T1D subject.
We consider a new approach for diagnosing T1D using serum from patients with the disease and HCs all from Sardinian region. In this preliminary study we were interested to analyze TTR profiles as diagnostic markers and to infer if TTR distinguished T1D from HCs.
We were not able to find TTR levels below threshold in T1D and MAP3865cAb + patients.
Our findings, indeed, showed that there is not a reduction of TTR serological level in Sardinian T1D MAP exposed individuals, but if we divide the population under scrutiny according to MAP3865cAb+, we find out that T1D group display diminished TTR (mean) concentration. It is as well important to check TTR potential to be a prognostic marker of T1D, and to accomplish this goal it is mandatory to set up a follow-up study, to understand if the lack of correlation could be explained taking into account the disease stage. Is it the same in recent onset patients or at 6 months, 1 year or 2 years after the onset?
However, a drawback of this study could the limited number of subjects. A larger study population and different patient cohorts (not Sardinian) as well should be assessed to fully answer the question if T1D patients and at risk subjects could be identified on the basis of a significantly lower TTR serum concentration.