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Molecular Test Accurately Diagnoses Sepsis in Immunocompromised Patients

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Nov 2023
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Image: SeptiCyte cartridges are formatted to work with the Biocartis Idylla platform (Photo courtesy of Immunexpress)
Image: SeptiCyte cartridges are formatted to work with the Biocartis Idylla platform (Photo courtesy of Immunexpress)

Patients who are immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive therapy face a heightened risk of infections, often accompanied by abnormal white blood cell counts. This makes it challenging for healthcare providers to accurately diagnose sepsis using conventional methods. To address this issue, a new near-patient testing solution now offers timely assistance in determining the need for early antibiotic treatment and adherence to sepsis care protocols for immunocompromised patients with a moderate to high likelihood of developing sepsis.

SeptiCyte RAPID from Immunexpress (Brisbane, Australia) is a sample-to-answer, cartridge-based, host-response molecular test designed to be used at the point of care. This test employs reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to measure the relative expression levels of certain genes in the body's response system, using samples taken directly from whole blood. The test produces a score, known as the SeptiScore, which is categorized into four distinct interpretation bands that reflect the increasing probability of a patient having sepsis.

A recent study confirmed the effectiveness of SeptiCyte RAPID in patients who are either immunocompromised or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. The study involved comparing SeptiCyte RAPID scores with a Retrospective Physician Diagnosis (RPD) across a sample of 419 patients. The objective was to assess how well SeptiCyte RAPID can diagnose sepsis in this specific patient group. The results showed that SeptiCyte RAPID reliably determined the likelihood of a sepsis diagnosis in these patients, regardless of their immunocompromised status or whether they were receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Notably, the test's performance remained consistent even amid fluctuations in white blood cell counts.

“SeptiCyte RAPID measures changes in gene expression in whole blood to determine the probability of sepsis and is not affected by fluctuations in the number of white blood cells. This study demonstrates the validity of SeptiCyte RAPID in patients with intermediate-high and high probabilities of sepsis irrespective of immunocompromised status," commented Dr. Richard Brandon, Chief Scientific Officer at Immunexpress.

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