Practical Methods to Permit the Analysis of Host Biomarkers in Resource-Limited Settings.
Chandna A., Richard-Greenblatt M., Tustin R., Lee SJ., Kain KC., Burza S., Lubell Y., Turner P.
Host biomarker testing can be used as an adjunct to the clinical assessment of patients with infections and might be particularly impactful in resource-constrained settings. Research on the merits of this approach at peripheral levels of low- and middle-income country health systems is limited. In part, this is due to resource-intense requirements for sample collection, processing, and storage. We evaluated the stability of 16 endothelial and immune activation biomarkers implicated in the host response to infection stored in venous plasma and dried blood spot specimens at different temperatures for 6 months. We found that -80°C storage offered no clear advantage over -20°C for plasma aliquots, and most biomarkers studied could safely be stored as dried blood spots at refrigeration temperatures (4°C) for up to 3 months. These results identify more practical methods for host biomarker testing in resource-limited environments, which could help facilitate research in rural and remote environments.