Sepsis and its sequelae remain the leading cause of death in operative intensive care units and a major health economic problem. There is an urgent need for new and reliable diagnostic and prognostic markers to overcome current diagnostic problems in patients with sepsis. In this proposed project therefore
(i) differential gene expression in sepsis will be characterized,
(ii) genes specifically expressed during severe sepsis (but not at the state of infection) will be identified, and
(iii) differences in the expression of selected genes and patterns of nonsurvivors/survivors will be determined. To reach our ambitious aims, state of the art methods, i.e. micro-array based technologies, will be applied in an interdisciplinary setting including collaborations with the Clinic of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Jena, and the Hans-Knoll-Institut, Jena.
The fellows will:
- screen a large number of genes by comparing pooled blood samples of patients with sepsis
-use selected genes to produce a micro-array (lst generation) and apply this to individual samples of single patients
- analyze these individual expression data in order to optimize the arrays (2nd generation chips ) and to derive rules for an early recognition of those infected patients developing sepsis and for a prognosis inpatients with severe sepsis/septic shock - evaluate these rules in terms of sensitivity and specificity in additional samples; (development of "final" chip and adapted software)