Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

The contribution of viral pathogens to sepsis

SARS-CoV-2 accounted for one in six cases of sepsis during the first 33 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the importance of viral sepsis, according to a new study.

Although sepsis is usually equated with bacterial infection, the pandemic has made it clear that viral infections can be an important cause of sepsis.

Few studies, however, have quantified the contribution of viral infections to the overall burden of sepsis and how the outcomes of patients with viral sepsis compare to those with bacterial sepsis.

The study researchers performed a retrospective cohort study using electronic health record (HER) data for all adults admitted to five Massachusetts hospitals from March 2020 to November 2022.

The team quantified the incidence and in-hospital mortality for sepsis associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections using clinical criteria adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They found that approximately one in six cases of sepsis were associated with SARS-CoV-2 during this period. The mortality rate for patients with SARS-CoV-2-associated sepsis was very high initially—33% over the first three months of the pandemic—but declined over time and eventually became similar to the mortality rate for presumed bacterial sepsis, a rate of about 14.5% that remained stable throughout the study period.

Image credit | Science-Photolibrary

Related Articles

Self-sampling for asymptomatic mpox

A pilot study carried out in Catalonia to evaluate the self-collection of biological samples reveals the high acceptability of the proposal and the key role of diagnosis in people without symptoms of mpox.

Congress 2023: the biggest, best ever

After four days, 19 lecture streams, hundreds of speakers and 5000 delegates passing through the doors of Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, IBMS Congress 2023 came to a close. Here we look back at a selection of the sessions and activities at this year’s event, which had the theme “Linking learning to the laboratory”.

Jabs in decline

From vaccine hesitancy to misunderstanding and misinformation, we look at why UK targets for public vaccination are being missed.

My lab: clinical diagnostic parasitology

Unit Manager Jayne Jones gives a guided tour of her laboratory at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.