The Alberta Sepsis Network
Sepsis is a life-threatening blood infection and one of the top 10 causes of death in Alberta. It can be caused by a variety of different bacterial infections which overactivate the immune system in different ways, triggering inflammation throughout the body. Drugs exist that can treat the infections and block the inflammation, but sepsis is often not diagnosed until organ damage has already occurred.
The Alberta Sepsis Network is composed of 25 researchers, including immune experts, microbiologists, biochemists, infectious disease physicians, and intensive care physicians, at the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, and University of Toronto.
The team will identify the particular type of infection in populations of sepsis patients and then examine the different immune responses in order to determine the molecular mechanisms at work and identify the drugs that work for each. Team members will then place this information in a province-wide database.
The database will allow healthcare practitioners across the province to compare blood samples for rapid diagnosis of the type of infection in sepsis patients, allowing for timely intervention with appropriate drug treatments to improve the health of patients.