Newborn sepsis: Could routinely collected blood spots help with early detection?

January 19, 2018

Sepsis is a major cause of death and illness in newborns worldwide. It occurs when an infection spreads throughout the body and enters the bloodstream. A study led by Drs. Deshayne Fell, Steven Hawken, and Kumanan Wilson found that blood spots routinely collected from all newborns may have the potential to help identify infants at risk of sepsis. The team linked newborn screening data with health databases to identify cases of sepsis among Ontario newborns between 2010 and 2015. Their findings suggest that sepsis is associated with certain factors already measured in blood spots, as well as with clinical variables, particularly among infants born at term or late preterm gestation. This novel approach may contribute to development of a test for the early diagnosis of newborn sepsis. See Nature’s Scientific Reports for details.

Authors: Deshayne B. Fell, Steven Hawken, Coralie A. Wong, Lindsay A. Wilson, Malia S.Q. Murphy, Pranesh Chakraborty, Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil, Beth K. Potter, Kumanan Wilson

Acknowledgements: Research at The Ottawa Hospital is supported by generous donations to Research to Improve Patient Care. This study was also supported the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1141535]. Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, CHEO and the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences.

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