NYMC Faculty Publications


Identification of Urine Metabolites as Biomarkers of Early Lyme Disease

Document Type


Publication Date

August 2018




Metabolites detectible in human biofluids are attractive biomarkers for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease (ELD), a vector-borne infectious disease. Urine represents an easily obtained clinical sample that can be applied for diagnostic purposes. However, few studies have explored urine for biomarkers of ELD. In this study, metabolomics approaches were applied to evaluate small molecule metabolites in urine from patients with ELD (n = 14), infectious mononucleosis (n = 14) and healthy controls (n = 14). Metabolic biosignatures for ELD versus healthy controls and ELD versus infectious mononucleosis were generated using untargeted metabolomics. Pathway analyses and metabolite identification revealed the dysregulation of several metabolic processes in ELD as compared to healthy controls or mononucleosis, including metabolism of tryptophan. Linear discriminant analyses demonstrated that individual metabolic biosignatures can correctly discriminate ELD from the other patient groups with accuracies of 71 to 100%. These data provide proof-of-concept for use of urine metabolites as biomarkers for diagnostic classification of ELD.