Globally, diarrheal diseases are a leading cause of death in children under five and disproportionately affect children in developing countries. Children who contract diarrheal diseases are rarely screened to identify the etiologic agent due to time and cost considerations associated with pathogen-specific screening and hence pathogen-directed therapy is uncommon. The development of biomarkers to rapidly identify underlying pathogens could improve treatment options and clinical outcomes in childhood diarrheal diseases. Here, we perform RNA sequencing on blood samples collected from children evaluated in an emergency room setting with diarrheal disease where the pathogen(s) present are known. We determine host response gene signatures specific to Salmonella, Shigella and rotavirus, but not E. coli, infections that distinguish them from each other and from healthy controls. Specifically, we observed differential expression of genes related to chemokine receptors or inflammasome signaling in Shigella cases, such as CCR3, CXCR8, and NLRC4, and interferon response genes, such as IFI44 and OASL, in rotavirus cases. Our findings add insight into the host peripheral immune response to these pathogens, and suggest strategies and limitations for the use host response transcript signatures for diagnosing the etiologic agent of childhood diarrheal diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)