Diarrhea is the most common symptom of acute inflammation
in gastrointestinal tract and the patients are isolated in order to inhibit
transmission and to conduct investigations. Yet there is no standard test to
distinguish gastrointestinal infection from more generalized diseases at
admittance which might cause delay in therapy. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)
is produced upon injury by mesenchymal cells. On the contrary to chronic inflammation,
HGF produced in the course of acute inflammation is biologically active and
shows binding affinity to heparan sulphate proteoglycan (HSPG) and dextran sulphate
(DS). Based on this phenomenon, an agarose gel containing DS was prepared and
immobilized on loops to investigate the feces samples for the presence or
absence of growth factors such as HGF with affinity to DS. The study is
conducted as a clinical evaluation of an experimental model to distinguish
acute infectious gastroenteritis from other causes of diarrhea. 656 fecal
samples gathered consequently from patients seeking for bowel disturbances and
healthy were tested by the test and the medical reports were investigated. Upon
interaction with DS, methylene blue changes color to pink. This phenomenon was
inhibited by HGF and converted by addition of anti-HGF antibodies to the
samples. The test distinguished acute infectious gastroenteritis with high sensitivity
and specificity (96% and 92% respectively) from other causes of diarrhea. We
introduce a metachromatic experimental model that might distinguish acute
inflammation in alimentary tract from other causes of diarrhea. This model
might be used in developing rapid diagnostic tests.
Cite this paper
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