Nav: Home

New method proposed to detect bacterial infection in preterm infants

April 01, 2016

A research group led by Kobe University Professor MORIOKA Ichiro (Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics), Associate Professor OSAWA Kayo (Graduate School of Health Sciences, Department of Biophysics), and Clinical Technologist SATO Itsuko (Kobe University Hospital, Department of Clinical Laboratory) is proposing a new criterion for diagnosis of bacterial infection in preterm infants. Using this method could lead to early diagnosis and treatment for bacterial infection and improve the prognosis for preterm infants. These findings will be published in the online version of the journal Scientific Reports on April 1, 2016.

Infants born prematurely do not have fully developed immune functions. Compared to full-term infants, if preterm infants suffer a bacterial infection there is a higher chance of fatality or negative impact on future growth and development. However, in the case of preterm infants, it can sometimes be hard to detect the signs of bacterial infection visible in adults and other infants: fever, white blood cell count, and increase in C-reactive protein (CRP). An alternative method was needed to detect infection.

Professor Morioka's research group focused on monitoring serum concentrations of procalcitonin (PCT), a marker used for early detection of bacterial infection in adults and children. Between June and December 2014, they examined 1267 serums from 283 newborns at the neonatal intensive care unit in Kobe University Hospital. The results demonstrated that PCT levels in full-term infants rose temporarily 1 day after birth, returning to the normal level for adults within 5 days (0.1ng/mL). However, for preterm infants it took 9 days after birth for PCT to return to normal levels.

Based on these results, the group plotted two reference curves: 50th percentile and 90th percentile values. When they superimposed 3 cases of preterm infants with bacterial infection on these curves, it clearly showed that in all three cases the serum PCT concentrations were higher than the 95th percentile values.

Use of this new criterion for detection of bacterial infection in preterm infants could help to improve their prognosis. "We could also potentially use this method to limit unnecessary use of antibacterial agents" commented Professor Morioka. "Our next step is to verify the precision of diagnoses based on these reference curves."
-end-


Kobe University

Related Preterm Infants Articles:

Infants born preterm may lack key lung cells later in life
Mice born into an oxygen-rich environment respond worse to the flu once fully grown due to an absence of certain lung cells, a discovery that provides a potential explanation for preterm infants' added susceptibility to influenza and other lung diseases later in their lives, according to new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Study reveals level of magnesium sulfate to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm infants
A new study suggests that to optimize neuroprotection and prevent cerebral palsy in extremely preterm infants, women should receive magnesium sulfate to obtain a blood level between 3.7 and 4.4 mg/dL at the time of delivery.
Corticosteroid treatment increases survival of preterm infants within hours
The effects of corticosteroid treatments on pregnant women facing preterm delivery to prevent infant death and morbidity have been thought to develop gradually over days.
A mother's voice may help stabilize preterm infants
A recent review of published research indicates that hearing their mother's voice can benefit the health of preterm infants.
Administration of steroid to extremely preterm infants not associated with adverse effects on neurod
The administration of low-dose hydrocortisone to extremely preterm infants was not associated with any adverse effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years of age, according to a study published by JAMA.
Survival rate may be improving for extremely preterm infants
Very early preterm infants are more likely to survive than in previous years, and the survivors are less likely to have neurological problems, according to an analysis of records from a National Institutes of Health research network.
Preterm infants fare well in early language development
Preterm babies perform as well as their full-term counterparts in a developmental task linking language and cognition, a new study from Northwestern University has found.
New study points to a possible cause of many preterm births
The discovery that small calcium deposits in fetal membranes may lead to a mother's water breaking prematurely suggests that dietary or other interventions could prevent those preterm births.
Even partial steroid treatment can benefit extremely preterm infants, NIH study suggests
Steroids improve survival and reduce the chances of certain birth defects for extremely premature infants, even if the treatment course is not finished before delivery, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Bacterial membrane vesicles can cause preterm birth
A study published on Sept. 1 in PLOS Pathogens reports that GBS produces membrane-bound vesicles containing bacterial factors that can attack the host tissue.

Related Preterm Infants Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...