Urine proteomics could pinpoint diabetic nephropathy

Urine tests are common for detecting diabetes--almost everyone has seen a doctor do a dipstick test for sugar levels. German clinical proteomics company Mosaiques Diagnostics, along with researchers from Australia and Europe, is looking at using proteomics to create a urine test to spot diabetic nephropathy, a progressive kidney disease that is a complication of long-term diabetes. The researchers used proteomics to screen urine from people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and found that a fall in levels of collagen fragments in the urine could predict macroalbuminuria (the appearance of the protein albumin in the urine), a precursor to kidney disease, three to 5 years in advance. The authors concluded that urinary proteomics could lead to a noninvasive test for diabetic nephropathy risk at an early stage. This could lead to diagnosis and treatment of early signs of the disease, preventing or postponing the need for dialysis, as well as to the development of drugs to treat and prevent this common and life-threatening complication of diabetes. Abstract | Article

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