Sepsis-like infections in young infants

​​A research project by doctor and ph.d.-student​​ Kia Hee Schultz Dungu​


The pattern of severe infections in young infants, who are particularly vulnerable due to their immature immune system, have shifted dramatically. Invasive bacterial infections are decreasing, but sepsis-like illness remains a main cause of hospital admissions, primarily due to emergence of previously innocuous and rare pathogens, e.g. human parechovirus. The nature of this epidemiological shift remains unexplored.


This is a multicentre multidisciplinary research project, part of the Clinical Academic Group ‘CAG-CHILD’, which is a research collaboration between Copenhagen University and the 5 paediatric departments in the Capital Region of Denmark.


To frame the understanding of sepsis-like illness in young infants today, we will
  • establish a prospective cohort of young infants with sepsis-like illness
  •  characterise the epidemiology
  • test novel transcriptomic-based diagnostic tools for differentiating simple and severe infections and use microarray analysis to detect emerging and novel pathogens
  • identify environmental, maternal and host immunological risk factors
  • explore long-term neurodevelopmental consequences of emerging infections


In young infants with sepsis-like illness, we will address knowledge gaps to advance prevention, diagnostics and therapy of emerging infections and develop national innovative strategies for management and treatment.​

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