1 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus epidermidis cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt infection is a common complication of hydrocephalus treatment, creating grave neurological consequences for patients, especially when diagnosis is delayed. The current method of diagnosis relies on microbiological culture; however, awaiting culture results may cause treatment delays, or culture may fail to identify infection altogether, so newer methods are needed. To investigate potential CSF biomarkers of S. epidermidis shunt infection, we developed a rat model allowing for serial CSF sampling. We found elevated levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-1β, chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and CCL3 in the CSF of animals implanted with S. epidermidis-infected catheters compared to sterile controls at day 1 postinfection. Along with increased chemokine and cytokine expression early in infection, neutrophil influx was significantly increased in the CSF of animals with infected catheters, suggesting that coupling leukocyte counts with inflammatory mediators may differentiate infection from sterile inflammation. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the CSF proteome in sterile animals was similar to that in infected animals at day 1; however, by day 5 postinfection, there was an increase in the number of differently expressed proteins in the CSF of infected compared to sterile groups. The expansion of the proteome at day 5 postinfection was interesting, as bacterial burdens began to decline by this point, yet the CSF proteome data indicated that the host response remained active, especially with regard to the complement cascade. Collectively, these results provide potential biomarkers to distinguish S. epidermidis infection from sterile postoperative inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00311-19
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Biomarker
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cytokine
  • Inflammation
  • Proteome
  • Shunt infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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