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Departmental Honors




Infections with the 2009 pandemic influenza A(HlNl) virus often leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in high-risk patients. In these patients, ARDS has a mortality rate of 40-50 % [1]. Patients may die before any intervention is possible since there are few if any early biomarkers that are indicative of ARDS and can be used for diagnosis. In a search for biomarkers that signal early disease progression in mice, multiple acute phase proteins involved with inflammatory responses to infectious stimuli were proposed. Three biomarkers were evaluated for this project. These included C-reactive protein (CRP), Serum Amyloid A (SAA) and Transferrin. To validate these biomarkers as predictors of ARDS, mice were infected with the influenza A Califomia/04/2009 (H 1 N 1 )pdm09 virus and serum was collected from infected mice at different time points (0 - 72 hours post infection). Serum samples were tested for amounts of CRP, SAA and Transferrin using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Control mice were mock-infected and tested alongside for comparison. Our results indicate that of the three biomarkers tested, SAA shows strong potential as an early indicator of ARDS with a peak at 72 hours post infection in infected mice serum. Further investigation is in progress to observe the levels of SAA past day 3 (72 hours post infection).

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Biology Commons



Faculty Mentor

Dale Barnard

Departmental Honors Advisor

Kimbelry Sullivan

Capstone Committee Member

Almut Vollmer