Researchers developing rapid new detection systems for deadly blood infection

September 14, 2012
Researchers developing rapid new detection systems for deadly blood infection
Professor Cheng Hock-Toh: “Sepsis has a 30 to 50% mortality rate."

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at the University of Liverpool are a step closer to providing clinicians with a bedside test for the early diagnosis of the fatal blood infection, sepsis. 

Sepsis is a bacterial infection of the blood that causes whole-body inflammation and is the leading cause of death worldwide.  Treating it in the early stages reduces the risk, but sepsis is difficult to diagnose until it has taken hold of the body.

Simple bedside test

Currently there are no reliable tests to accurately and speedily diagnose the infection, which can lead to delayed or missed diagnosis, resulting in complications or, in severe cases, death.  Researchers at Liverpool are developing new rapid detection systems that can analyse indicators of infection using a device at the bedside of a patient.

The team have already discovered a of the condition, which has proved to be a successful way of detecting the infection at its early stages in patients. The new £1.2 million project, supported by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), is enabling scientists to work with Liverpool company, Sepsis Limited, to deliver a bedside test that is simple, rapid, and robust in detecting sepsis from a small sample of blood. 

Professor Cheng Hock-Toh, from the University's Institute of Infection and , said: " has a 30 to 50% mortality rate and recognising the infection in its earliest stages is crucial.  Now that we have validated the biomarkers of this condition we can focus on miniaturising test systems in the laboratory for point-of-care use at the bedside of patients." 

Also in development, through collaboration between the University, MicroLab Devices in Leeds, and Forsite Diagnostics in York, is a that can identify a combination of three indicators of from a sample of blood in less than five minutes.  Supported through funds from the TSB, it will allow to distinguish between serious blood infections and other more common bacterial infections in young children. 

Dr Enitan Carrol, from the University's Institute of Translational Medicine, said: "This new diagnostic device, which will combine two separate technologies, will reduce the delays in diagnosis and unnecessary admissions to hospitals, as well as the numbers of deaths from this serious condition.  We want to help doctors make the appropriate clinical decision at the bedside, without having to wait for results from a laboratory."

Explore further: Quicker detection and treatment of severe sepsis

Related Stories

Quicker detection and treatment of severe sepsis

May 23, 2011
Sepsis is the name of an infection that causes a series of reactions in the body, which in the worst case can prove fatal. The problem for both patients and doctors is that the early symptoms are difficult to distinguish ...

Researchers say urine dipstick test is accurate predictor of renal failure in sepsis patients

May 14, 2012
Henry Ford Hospital researchers have found that the presence of excess protein in a common urine test is an effective prognostic marker of acute renal failure in patients with severe sepsis.

Clinical trial to treat septic shock under way at UMC

June 1, 2011
The death rate can be as high as 60 percent for people with underlying medical problems, and some 250,000 Americans die of severe sepsis annually.

Recommended for you

Team identifies DNA element that may cause rare movement disorder

December 11, 2017
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers has identified a specific genetic change that may be the cause of a rare but severe neurological disorder called X-linked dystonia parkinsonism (XDP). Occurring only ...

Protein Daple coordinates single-cell and organ-wide directionality in the inner ear

December 11, 2017
Humans inherited the capacity to hear sounds thanks to structures that evolved millions of years ago. Sensory "hair cells" in the inner ear have the amazing ability to convert sound waves into electrical signals and transmit ...

Gene therapy improves immunity in babies with 'bubble boy' disease

December 9, 2017
Early evidence suggests that gene therapy developed at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will lead to broad protection for infants with the devastating immune disorder X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disorder. ...

In lab research, scientists slow progression of a fatal form of muscular dystrophy

December 8, 2017
In a paper published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, Saint Louis University (SLU) researchers report that a new drug reduces fibrosis (scarring) and prevents loss of muscle function in an animal model of Duchenne ...

Double-blind study shows HIV vaccine not effective in viral suppression

December 7, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers from the U.S. and Canada has conducted a randomized double-blind study of the effectiveness of an HIV vaccine and has found it to be ineffective in suppressing the virus. In ...

Time matters: Does our biological clock keep cancer at bay?

December 7, 2017
Our body has an internal biological or "circadian" clock, which cycles daily and is synchronized with solar time. New research done in mice suggests that it can help suppress cancer. The study, publishing 7 December in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.