Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 22 Mar 2018 Lack of early detect ...

Lack of early detection is leading cause of sepsis deaths: Expert

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | A RAGU RAMAN
Published Mar 22, 2018, 6:09 am IST
Updated Mar 22, 2018, 6:09 am IST
Professor Thomas Laurell and his colleagues are developing a novel method which will detect bacterial infection at an early stage.
Thomas Laurell
 Thomas Laurell

Chennai: The mortality rate for sepsis (also known as septicemia) is 30 per cent, higher than breast cancer and some other cancers. “There are several challenges in identifying and treating patients with sepsis. For every hour that you don’t get correct treatment, the risk of death increases by 8 per cent,” says Professor Thomas Laurell from the Department of Bio-Medical Engineering, Lund University, Sweden. Professor Thomas Laurell and his colleagues are developing a novel method which will detect bacterial infection at an early stage, thereby hoping to prevent millions of deaths. He came to the city recently to attend an international conference on Recent Trends in Analytical Chemistry at Madras University.

“Sepsis is a severe, systematic response to infection caused by bacteria. Overreaction of the immune system causes system collapse that leads to multiple organ failure.  So rapid and accurate diagnosis is crucial as it decreases the risk of death,” Professor Thomas Laurell told this paper. What makes it worse is the growing problem with antibiotics. “Several antibiotics are not working due to over-prescription. Lack of antibiotics all over the world needs even more urgency to detect the bacteria at an early stage among patients with sepsis,” he said.

 

At present, the earliest detection is possible only after several hours and in some cases, takes a day or two. “But by our method we can detect it in two hours and this can possibly save millions of lives,” he noted. He explained how this is possible. Seventy percent of patients who have sepsis have negative blood cultures because there are no bacteria in circulation, the bacteria already localized in the body. But as soon as patients get bacterial infections, the result is the release of extra cellular vesicles in the blood circulation. “If we are able to do the protein profiling of vesicles, we may be able to diagnose sepsis at an early stage and can know what type of infection and which part of the body is affected by the bacteria,” he continued He said that the detection method will be fully developed  within five years.

 

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