Detecting Diseases at the Protein Level

As medicine becomes more advanced, doctors can now turn to the microscopic level to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. By completing a poteome array, the medical researchers can expand their knowledge of current diseases that affect a population.

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What is a Proteome Array?

A proteome is a set of proteins that are expressed under certain environmental conditions. They can be expressed at multiple levels within an animal: at the cell, in tissue, or in the overall genome.

Proteome Arrays in Laboratories

While arrays can be used for diagnostic purposes, some are used in research laboratories. In a lab setting, arrays can identify markers on a protein that can be related to specific illnesses or conditions. By locating these markers, researchers can begin to develop more advanced diagnostic or screening processes and experiment with new drug therapies.

Proteome Arrays in Medicine

When using a proteome array to check for pathogens, doctors can more accurately diagnose diseases within a patient. A pathogen is any virus, bacteria or parasite that causes a disease. When this pathogen enters the body, the immune system goes on high alert in order to produce antibodies to defend itself. Pathogen antigen proteome arrays detect these antibodies within a patient’s blood to confirm an active infection. Some of the diseases that can be screened for include:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Cat Scratch Disease

Proteome arrays can also benefit our pets, and a popular assay is used to check for outdoor, indoor and food allergies in cats and dogs. This array looks for the production of IgE, an antibody which is produced when the body is faced with an allergen. This array can pinpoint allergies by region, and it helps a pet owner and veterinarian determine an effective allergy treatment.

Proteins are the building blocks of the body, and with advanced techniques, researchers can use proteins to improve healthcare for humans and animals.