Toward detection of toxoplasmosis from urine in mice using hydro-gel nanoparticles concentration and parallel reaction monitoring mass spectrometry
Diagnosis of clinical toxoplasmosis remains a challenge, thus limiting the availability of human clinical samples. Though murine models are an approximation of human response, their definitive infection status and tissue availability make them critical to the diagnostic development process. Hydrogel mesh nanoparticles were used to concentrate antigen to detectable levels for mass spectrometry. Seven Toxoplasma gondii isolates were used to develop a panel of potential peptide sequences for detection by parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) mass spectrometry. Nanoparticles were incubated with decreasing concentrations of tachyzoite lysate to explore the limits of detection of PRM. Mice whose toxoplasmosis infection status was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR had urine tested by PRM after hydrogel mesh concentration for known T. gondii peptides. Peptides from GRA1, GRA12, ROP4, ROP5, SAG1, and SAG2A proteins were detected by PRM after nanoparticle concentration of urine, confirming detection of T. gondii antigen in the urine of an infected mouse.