New research in the April issue of Anesthesiology shows for the first time a genetic marker in patients who have a greater likelihood of surviving sepsis.
"Sepsis is a severe illness where the body is overwhelmed by infection, and it is a leading cause of death in United States' hospitals," said Dr. Michael Adamzik, lead study investigator from the University of Duisburg-Essen Medical School, Germany. "We wanted to better understand whether survival was impacted by genetic markers so we could help more patients survive the infection."
The researchers studied aquaporins (AQP) and evaluated the association between AQP genotype and survival in severe sepsis. These proteins act as water channels through biological membranes, including those of almost all cells in the human body, and regulate multiple physiological pathways. Patients with a particular AQP5 promoter genotype had a 3.6-fold increase in the risk of dying from sepsis.