Plasma Proteomic Factors Associated with Sepsis Survival Outcomes
Kapp, Kathryn Lynn
Sepsis is life-threating organ dysfunction because of an abnormal host response to infection. Patient response is heterogeneous, so better prognostic indicators could help develop more effective treatments. African American/Black patients have higher mortality rates from sepsis than Non-Hispanic White patients, which is partially explained by socioeconomic factors and comorbidities. Molecular level factors are also important, but few studies have included African American/Black patients. With proteomics, thousands of proteins in complex biological samples such as blood plasma can be analyzed to understand molecular level factors driving sepsis survival. Protein differences between Non-Hispanic White and African American/Black sepsis survivors and non-survivors who had either primary intra-abdominal or urinary tract infections were analyzed. Sepsis survivors universally had lower levels of inflammatory proteins than non-survivors, but many proteins were different between sepsis survivors and non-survivors within one racial/ethnic background or primary infection source. Other proteins’ levels were dependent on both racial background and survival outcome. Potential prognostic markers for sepsis survival outcomes were also identified. This work emphasizes the importance of including patients from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds and under-studied primary infection sources to fully understand molecular level factors that contribute to sepsis survival outcomes.