A team headed by Leena Mithal, MD, pediatric infectious diseases fellow at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, has just presented new research indicating how identifying the acute phase reactants in the cord blood of premature infants could help detect and assess the risk of early onset sepsis.
Early onset sepsis is still a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates, but not enough clinical and laboratory diagnostics are currently available to allow the necessary antibiotic treatment to be applied.
In response, Mithal and her colleagues undertook research examining whether improvements in early onset sepsis diagnosis could be achieved by evaluating the acute phase reactant biomarkers in umbilical cord blood. The team compared archived cord blood and placental data from preterm infants with confirmed early onset sepsis, presumed early onset sepsis, late onset sepsis, as well as a control group without sepsis.
“[C-reactive protein], haptoglobin, serum amyloid A, Serum amyloid P and ferritin were severely elevated in the group with confirmed early onset sepsis, but were significantly different in patients with presumed early onset sepsis, late onset sepsis and controls,” Mithal said, in an interview with Healio.com. “Perhaps these five biomarkers in umbilical cord blood can be used for risk stratification and improved diagnostics for neonatal early onset sepsis.”
The research was presented at this year’s St. Jude/PIDS Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference, held February 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee.