Erin I Lafferty

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (4)26.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To determine the utility of angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 as potentially novel biomarkers of morbidity and mortality in patients with severe sepsis. Multicenter longitudinal cohort study. Three tertiary hospital intensive care units in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A total of 70 patients with severe sepsis were enrolled within 24 hrs of meeting the inclusion criteria for severe sepsis and followed until day 28, hospital discharge, or death. Clinical data and plasma samples were obtained at intensive care unit admission for all 70 patients and then daily for 1 wk and weekly thereafter for a subset of 43 patients. Levels of angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 in stored plasma samples were measured and compared with clinical characteristics, including the primary outcomes of 28-day mortality and morbidity measured by the Multiple Organ Dysfunction score. Lower angiopoietin-1 plasma levels (≤ 5.5 ng/mL) at admission were associated with increased likelihood of death (relative risk 0.49 [95% confidence interval of 0.25-0.98], p = .046). Lower angiopoietin-1 levels remained a significant predictor of 28-day mortality in a multiple logistic regression model (adjusted odds ratio of 0.282 [95% confidence interval of 0.086-0.93], p = .037). Analysis of serial data using linear mixed models confirmed that sepsis survivors had higher levels of angiopoietin-1 (p = .012) and lower daily levels of angiopoietin-2 (p = .022) than nonsurvivors. Furthermore, survivors had higher peak angiopoietin-1 levels (median 13 vs. 10 ng/mL, p = .019) and lower nadir angiopoietin-2 levels (median 2.8 vs. 6.2 ng/mL, p = .013) than nonsurvivors. A score incorporating angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 and three other markers of endothelial activation discriminated with high accuracy between fatal and nonfatal cases (c-index of 0.80 [95% confidence interval of 0.69-0.90], p < .001). Plasma levels of angiopoietin-2 correlated with clinical markers of organ dysfunction and molecular markers of endothelial cell activation. Angiopoietin-1 levels at admission and both angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 levels measured serially correlated with 28-day mortality in severe sepsis. Angiopoietin-2 levels also correlated with organ dysfunction/injury and a validated clinical sepsis score. These results suggest the use of angiopoietins as clinically informative biomarkers of disease severity and patient outcome in severe sepsis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Critical care medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Severe and cerebral malaria are associated with endothelial activation. Angiopoietin-1 (ANG-1) and angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2) are major regulators of endothelial activation and integrity. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical utility of whole blood angiopoietin (ANG) levels as biomarkers of disease severity in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The utility of whole blood ANG levels was examined in Thai patients to distinguish cerebral (CM; n = 87) and severe (non-cerebral) malaria (SM; n = 36) from uncomplicated malaria (UM; n = 70). Comparative statistics are reported using a non-parametric univariate analysis (Kruskal-Wallis test or Chi-squared test, as appropriate). Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to examine differences in whole blood protein levels between groups (UM, SM, CM), adjusting for differences due to ethnicity, age, parasitaemia and sex. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the ANGs in their ability to distinguish between UM, SM and CM. Cumulative organ injury scores were obtained for patients with severe disease based on the presence of acute renal failure, jaundice, severe anaemia, circulatory collapse or coma. ANG-1 and ANG-2 were readily detectable in whole blood. Compared to UM there were significant decreases in ANG-1 (p < 0.001) and significant increases in ANG-2 (p < 0.001) levels and the ratio of ANG-2: ANG-1 (p < 0.001) observed in patients with SM and CM. This effect was independent of covariates (ethnicity, age, parasitaemia, sex). Further, there was a significant decrease in ANG-1 levels in patients with SM (non-cerebral) versus CM (p < 0.001). In participants with severe disease, ANG-2, but not ANG-1, levels correlated with cumulative organ injury scores; however, ANG-1 correlated with the presence of renal dysfunction and coma. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated that the level of ANG-1, the level of ANG-2 or the ratio of ANG-2: ANG-1 discriminated between individuals with UM and SM (area under the curve, p-value: ANG-2, 0.763, p < 0.001; ANG-1, 0.884, p < 0.001; Ratio, 0.857, p < 0.001) or UM and CM (area under the curve, p-value: ANG-2, 0.772, p < 0.001; ANG-1, 0.778, p < 0.001; Ratio, 0.820, p < 0.001). These results suggest that whole blood ANG-1/2 levels are promising clinically informative biomarkers of disease severity in malarial syndromes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Limited tools exist to identify which individuals infected with Plasmodium falciparum are at risk of developing serious complications such as cerebral malaria (CM). The objective of this study was to assess serum biomarkers that differentiate between CM and non-CM, with the long-term goal of developing a clinically informative prognostic test for severe malaria. Based on the hypothesis that endothelial activation and blood-brain-barrier dysfunction contribute to CM pathogenesis, we examined the endothelial regulators, angiopoietin-1 (ANG-1) and angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2), in serum samples from P. falciparum-infected patients with uncomplicated malaria (UM) or CM, from two diverse populations--Thai adults and Ugandan children. Angiopoietin levels were compared to tumour necrosis factor (TNF). In both populations, ANG-1 levels were significantly decreased and ANG-2 levels were significantly increased in CM versus UM and healthy controls (p<0.001). TNF was significantly elevated in CM in the Thai adult population (p<0.001), but did not discriminate well between CM and UM in African children. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that ANG-1 and the ratio of ANG-2:ANG-1 accurately discriminated CM patients from UM in both populations. Applied as a diagnostic test, ANG-1 had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% for distinguishing CM from UM in Thai adults and 70% and 75%, respectively, for Ugandan children. Across both populations the likelihood ratio of CM given a positive test (ANG-1<15 ng/mL) was 4.1 (2.7-6.5) and the likelihood ratio of CM given a negative test was 0.29 (0.20-0.42). Moreover, low ANG-1 levels at presentation predicted subsequent mortality in children with CM (p = 0.027). ANG-1 and the ANG-2/1 ratio are promising clinically informative biomarkers for CM. Additional studies should address their utility as prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets in severe malaria.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Through the convergence of nano- and microtechnologies (quantum dots and microfluidics), we have created a diagnostic system capable of multiplexed, high-throughput analysis of infectious agents in human serum samples. We demonstrate, as a proof-of-concept, the ability to detect serum biomarkers of the most globally prevalent blood-borne infectious diseases (i.e., hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV) with low sample volume (<100 microL), rapidity (<1 h), and 50 times greater sensitivity than that of currently available FDA-approved methods. We further show precision for detecting multiple biomarkers simultaneously in serum with minimal cross-reactivity. This device could be further developed into a portable handheld point-of-care diagnostic system, which would represent a major advance in detecting, monitoring, treating, and preventing infectious disease spread in the developed and developing worlds.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Nano Letters