New approaches to sepsis: molecular diagnostics and biomarkers.

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New approaches to sepsis: molecular diagnostics and biomarkers.

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2012 Oct;25(4):609-34

Authors: Reinhart K, Bauer M, Riedemann NC, Hartog CS

Sepsis is among the most common causes of death in hospitals. It arises from the host response to infection. Currently, diagnosis relies on nonspecific physiological criteria and culture-based pathogen detection. This results in diagnostic uncertainty, therapeutic delays, the mis- and overuse of antibiotics, and the failure to identify patients who might benefit from immunomodulatory therapies. There is a need for new sepsis biomarkers that can aid in therapeutic decision making and add information about screening, diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of the response to therapy. The host response involves hundreds of mediators and single molecules, many of which have been proposed as biomarkers. It is, however, unlikely that one single biomarker is able to satisfy all the needs and expectations for sepsis research and management. Among biomarkers that are measurable by assays approved for clinical use, procalcitonin (PCT) has shown some usefulness as an infection marker and for antibiotic stewardship. Other possible new approaches consist of molecular strategies to improve pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics and prognostics based on transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolic profiling. Novel approaches to sepsis promise to transform sepsis from a physiologic syndrome into a group of distinct biochemical disorders and help in the development of better diagnostic tools and effective adjunctive sepsis therapies.

PMID: 23034322 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]