Genetics of Sepsis and Serious Infections

Published by Alicia Ferguson on

Genetics of Sepsis and Serious Infections
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a deadly illness that can happen when our body is fighting off germs. The body’s immune system helps
fight off germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. But for individuals diagnosed with sepsis, their immune system
does not work properly and this causes harm to the body instead of helping it.
Sepsis can cause a range of symptoms including:
● Fever, chills, or shivering
● Increase heart rate
● Low blood pressure or dizziness
● Extreme pain or discomfort
● Trouble waking up or staying awake
Sepsis can have long-lasting effects on a person's health, such as tiredness, mood changes, and loss of appetite. In serious cases, sepsis can cause organ failure or death. To treat sepsis, a hospital visit is required, and a number of medications are used to help. It is important to catch sepsis early and start treatment as soon as possible. This can help people recover faster and avoid more serious problems.


How was the research done?
Researchers at Vanderbilt carried out a study using BioVU resources and de-identified electronic medical records.
They hope to uncover factors that cause sepsis and serious infections. The researchers are looking at the DNA of patients who have sepsis to see if there are any genetic differences that might be related to how bad the infection problems can get. They are also looking at how these genetic differences might be connected to the symptoms of sepsis and predict people who are at a higher risk of developing sepsis. They hope to understand more about how genes affect sepsis and find ways to stop people from getting sick or recover quicker. The study population included adults that stayed in the hospital and had signs of organ problems that were treated for sepsis. The study will use math to prove if the genetic differences they found are important. They will also look at things like age, gender, and race to see if these things make a difference in how people get sepsis.


What is the importance of this study?
The main goal of this study is to find genetic and non-genetic clues of serious infections and sepsis development, using de-identified electronic health records and DNA research methods. Sepsis continues to be a major challenge to public health. It can be harmful to the body and has high death rates. Additionally, healthcare costs to treat sepsis can be very expensive. Sepsis research will help diagnose sepsis early and help find better
treatment strategies. We hope this research will reduce the impact of sepsis on people and healthcare systems.