HIST-BIRTH: Innovative and rapid point-of-care histone test strips for early diagnosis of sepsis in pregnancy and childbirth.

University of Valencia
Organization Location: 
Valencia, Spain

Documented incidence of sepsis worldwide is 1.8 million cases annually, and it is increasing in low-income countries and vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and infants (75,000 maternal/1 million newborn deaths year). Given this devastating scenario it is imperative to seek new strategies based on scientific findings and the application of innovative technologies to minimize the social impact of sepsis. Based on these assumptions, and using science and technological approaches, we propose to develop a rapid, low-cost and effective method for detecting sepsis in early stages. We will take advantage of the potential of histones to be sensitive and effective biomarkers for sepsis, and of the versatility, simplicity and low-cost of test strips. The diagnostic test will be simple, comfortable, easy to interpret and low-cost for prognosis/early diagnosis of sepsis based on histone expression. The test can be used by non-technical experts in any hospital or health center worldwide, though it has been designed intentionally for low-resource countries. Proof-of-concept of this diagnostic test will be performed in Uganda, in order to analyze benefits and reduction in mortality of pregnant women and infants in that country. The innovative combination of histones and strips make this diagnostic test a significant improvement over the inefficient methods currently used for sepsis diagnosis, such serum lactate measurement, microbiological sampling, etc. The availability of such a diagnostic method could be a significant breakthrough for recognition of sepsis and administration of appropriate therapy.

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