Gene Expression Signatures Diagnose Influenza and Other Symptomatic Respiratory Viral Infections in Humans

Aimee K. Zaas, Minhua Chen, Jay Varkey, Timothy Veldman, Alfred O. Hero, Joseph Lucas, Yongsheng Huang, Ronald Turner, Anthony Gilbert, Robert Lambkin-Williams, N. Christine Øien, Bradly Nicholson, Stephen Kingsmore, Lawrence Carin, Christopher W. Woods, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

308 Scopus citations


Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are a common reason for seeking medical attention, and the threat of pandemic influenza will likely add to these numbers. Using human viral challenge studies with live rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza A, we developed peripheral blood gene expression signatures that distinguish individuals with symptomatic ARIs from uninfected individuals with >95% accuracy. We validated this "acute respiratory viral" signature-encompassing genes with a known role in host defense against viral infections-across each viral challenge. We also validated the signature in an independently acquired data set for influenza A and classified infected individuals from healthy controls with 100% accuracy. In the same data set, we could also distinguish viral from bacterial ARIs (93% accuracy). These results demonstrate that ARIs induce changes in human peripheral blood gene expression that can be used to diagnose a viral etiology of respiratory infection and triage symptomatic individuals. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 17 2009
Externally publishedYes

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