Labeled quantitative mass spectrometry to study the host response during aspergillosis in the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Guillaume Desoubeaux, Maria del Carmen Piqueras, Carolina Le-Bert, Vanessa Fravel, Tonya Clauss, Alexa J. Delaune, Risa Daniels, Eric D. Jensen, Jennifer E. Flower, Gregory D. Bossart, Sanjoy K. Bhattacharya, Carolyn Cray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by Aspergillus molds that can affect both humans and animals. Despite advances in diagnostics and therapy, medical management of this disease remains difficult. Expansion of the basic knowledge regarding its pathophysiology in animals is critical to aid in the identification of new biomarkers of infection for diagnosis and therapeutic targets. For such a purpose, proteomics can be used by addressing protein changes during various disease processes. In the present study, a mass spectrometry analysis based on isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ ® ) was applied for direct identification and relative quantitation of proteins in blood collected from 32 Aspergillus-diseased common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, 32 samples) in comparison with blood from 55 other dolphins (55 samples from 41 clinically-normal controls and from 14 cetaceans with miscellaneous non-Aspergillus inflammation diseases) and ten convalescent dolphins (28 samples). Sixty-six and 40 proteins were found to be ≥2.0-fold over- and underrepresented versus miscellaneous non-Aspergillus inflammatory dolphins, respectively, and most were confirmed vs. clinically-normal controls and convalescents. Many proteins which play a role in the adaptive immune response were identified, including MHC proteins and others involved in catalytic activity like the NADPH-ubiquinone oxido-reductases. Overall, iTRAQ ® appears to be a convenient proteomic tool greatly suited for exploratory ex vivo studies focusing on pathophysiology. This technique should be considered as a preliminary step before validation of new diagnostic markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Aspergillosis
  • Dolphin
  • Interleukin
  • Orbitrap
  • Prepronociceptin
  • Protamine P1
  • Tursiops truncates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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