Bloodstream infections (BS Is) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide, and a key contributing factor is the lack of appropriate diagnostic tests and devices to direct treatment at the early stage. People undergoing medical treatments that leave them immunosuppressed (e.g. chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, HIV treatment) are at highest risk of fatalities related to systemic infections. Furthermore, empirical use of antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic resistance, leading to a shrinking number of effective drugs. The most common causes of BS Is are bacterial agents, followed by fungal and viral agents, respectively. However, fungal infections are associated with the highest mortality (often > 50%), and viral infections are commonly associated with secondary bacterial infections, hence all three groups are important. Here, we aim to design sensors that allow early detection and monitoring of bloodstream infections, with special emphasis on designing systems that can be used to inform treatment decisions.
Can we develop new concepts and technologies for early detection and monitoring of bloodstream infections which can be used to guide anti-microbial treatment?
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