March 03, 2015
3 min watch

Potential biomarker identified for neonatal sepsis in preterm infants

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Leena Mithal, MD, pediatric infectious diseases fellow at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, discusses new research which found that acute phase reactants in cord blood of premature infants could be used in detection and risk stratification for early onset sepsis.

While early onset sepsis in neonates continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, there are insufficient clinical and laboratory diagnostics available to apply necessary antibiotic prophylaxis.

To determine whether evaluation of acute phase reactant biomarkers in umbilical cord blood could improve early onset sepsis detection, Mithal and colleagues 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 told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Perhaps, these five biomarkers in umbilical cord blood can be used for risk stratification and improved diagnostics for neonatal early onset sepsis.”