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.