Research press release


Nature Biomedical Engineering

Fast sepsis detection from a single drop of blood



Daniel Irimiaたちは、新しいマイクロ流体分析装置を考案した。この装置は、1滴の血液で複雑な流路が満たされ、機械学習アルゴリズムが、免疫系で最初に応答する好中球の流路中の動きを敗血症の重症度と相関させて、「敗血症スコア」を計算する。この検査はわずか数時間で完了することが示され、患者42例を対象とした二重盲検観察研究から、健常者と敗血症患者を、敗血症スコアによって95%以上の感度と特異性で識別できることが明らかになった。


A simple test that can detect sepsis from a single drop of blood is reported in a paper published online this week in Nature Biomedical Engineering. The test is quick, cheap and accurate, and could be easily adapted to monitor patients at risk of sepsis.

Sepsis - a life-threatening condition in which the body’s extreme response to severe infection damages tissues and organs - is misdiagnosed in approximately 30% of patients. This is because current tests have poor specificity and are slow - taking days to provide results, which leads to unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, thus promoting the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Daniel Irimia and colleagues designed a device in which a drop of blood fills a maze of microscopic channels. A machine-learning algorithm then correlates the movement of neutrophils - the immune system’s ‘first responders’ - in the maze with sepsis severity to calculate a ‘sepsis score’. The researchers show that the test runs in only a few hours and that in a double-blind observational study of 42 patients the sepsis score differentiated healthy individuals from those with sepsis with over 95% sensitivity and specificity.

Although the test needs to be validated using a larger and more diverse set of patients, it has the potential to increase the survival rates of patients at high risk of sepsis and to reduce antibiotic overuse.

doi: 10.1038/s41551-018-0208-z


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