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Mass spectrometric quantitation of muramic acid, a bacterial cell wall component, in septic synovial fluids.

Abstract
This is the first report describing the use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for detection of muramic acid in infected synovial fluid (SF). Muramic acid is a ubiquitous component of bacterial cell walls, and it has been proposed that it could serve as a chemical marker for the presence of live bacteria or bacterial debris in rheumatoid joints. Our goal was to determine whether muramic acid was present at detectable levels in septic SF, since this would serve as a positive control for studies of reactive and rheumatoid arthritis. Muramic acid was found to be present at levels of less than 250-1,700 ng/ml in 12 septic SF samples (10 of which were culture positive for Staphylococcus aureus and 1 each for Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pneumoniae). Among these samples, those containing low bacterial colony counts did not contain detectable muramic acid. Muramic acid was also not detected in any SF samples from 20 control patients. We conclude that muramic acid can be used as a marker for the presence of bacterial peptidoglycan in SF. With further lowering of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detection limits, determination of the quantities of bacterial debris present in joints of patients with rheumatoid or reactive arthritis will be attainable.
AuthorsB Christensson, J Gilbart, A Fox, S L Morgan
JournalArthritis and rheumatism (Arthritis Rheum) Vol. 32 Issue 10 Pg. 1268-72 (Oct 1989) ISSN: 0004-3591 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2679561 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Muramic Acids
  • Sugar Acids
Topics
  • Cell Wall (analysis)
  • Escherichia coli Infections (metabolism)
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Muramic Acids (analysis)
  • Staphylococcal Infections (metabolism)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Sugar Acids (analysis)
  • Synovial Fluid (analysis, microbiology)
  • Synovitis (metabolism, microbiology)

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