The rapid diagnosis of acute infections and sepsis remains a serious challenge. As a result of limitations in current diagnostics, guidelines recommend early antimicrobials for suspected sepsis patients to improve outcomes at a cost to antimicrobial stewardship. We aimed to develop and prospectively validate a new, 29-messenger RNA blood-based host-response classifier Inflammatix Bacterial Viral Non-Infected version 2 [IMX-BVN-2] to determine the likelihood of bacterial and viral infections.
Prospective observational study.
Emergency Department, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.
Three hundred twelve adult patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected acute infections or sepsis with at least one vital sign change.
None (observational study only).
Gene expression levels from extracted whole blood RNA was quantified on a NanoString nCounter SPRINT. Two predicted probability scores for the presence of bacterial and viral infection were calculated using the IMX-BVN-2 neural network classifier, which was trained on an independent development set. The IMX-BVN-2 bacterial score showed an area under the receiver operating curve for adjudicated bacterial versus ruled out bacterial infection of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.85-0.95) compared with 0.89 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94) for procalcitonin with procalcitonin being used in the adjudication. The IMX-BVN-2 viral score area under the receiver operating curve for adjudicated versus ruled out viral infection was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.77-0.89).
IMX-BVN-2 demonstrated accuracy for detecting both viral infections and bacterial infections. This shows the potential of host-response tests as a novel and practical approach for determining the causes of infections, which could improve patient outcomes while upholding antimicrobial stewardship.

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