Unpredictable and challenging to treat
Sepsis is a serious condition in which the immune system launches an overwhelming response to infection. The cause of the infection can be any type of microbe, including fungi, bacteria and viruses, but they are usually bacteria. The immune response releases inflammatory proteins into the bloodstream, causing blood clots and leaking vessels.
This impedes blood flow and leads to organ damage. The progress of sepsis is often unpredictable and rapid. It is a significant cause of deaths and hospital readmissions. While anyone can develop sepsis, the elderly, children and infants are among the most at risk. People with severe injuries, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and other medical problems are also more susceptible.
According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sepsis affects at least 1.7 million adults and is responsible for 270,000 deaths each year in the United States. Despite significant advances in modern medicine, sepsis remains a challenge for physicians and carries a high risk of death.
Recommended reading: Benefits of Hepatitis B Vaccine for InfantsFive biomarkers for the prognosis of sepsisOver the 10 years or more that the researchers developed PERSEVERE, they evaluated it using information from over 1,000 children. They started with a panel of 80 biomarkers and progressively narrowed it down to five.
According to the team, five is a manageable number for bringing together various advanced methods for researching and choosing treatments. In their study, the authors list the five PERSEVERE biomarkers as: “CC chemokine ligand 3 (CCL3), interleukin 8 (IL8), 70 kDa 1B heat shock protein (HSPA1B), granzime B (GZMB) and metallopeptidase matrix 8 (MMP8 ). ”
Each biomarker is a protein that “reflects the biology of sepsis
” they note. In the new study, the team evaluated the latest version of PERSEVERE using blood samples from 461 critically ill children with sepsis who had been treated at several children’s hospitals in the United States and also tested the tool in mouse models of sepsis.
Because regulators have not yet approved the tool for clinical use, the researchers did not allow the results to inform patient care and treatment decisions. All they did was verify its accuracy and evaluate its potential.High prognostic reliability
The results showed that PERSEVERE predicted with high reliability which children would develop severe sepsis and which would not. The researchers then used the same five biomarkers in a mouse model of sepsis. The test accurately predicted which animals were at high and low risk of death.
Furthermore, compared to low-risk mice, the high-risk ones had a much greater amount of bacteria in their blood than the low-risk ones and needed much higher doses of antibiotics to deal with the infection.
The researchers then went back to the samples from the children and confirmed that those at greatest risk of dying from sepsis also had much higher amounts of the bacteria in their blood.