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Title: Functional genomics of severe sepsis and septic shock
Author: Radhakrishnan, Jayachandran
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 2980
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Sepsis is the systemic inflammatory response to an infection. Severe sepsis with multi organ failure is one of the commonest causes of admission to intensive care units, and is associated with poor early and late outcomes. The pathophysiology of sepsis is complex, and poorly understood. This is reflected in the limited and contentious treatment options for sepsis. Genetic factors have been shown to be associated with the risk of and subsequent outcomes from infection. However, clear associations with bacterial sepsis are rare, and even when associations are present their functional effects are often unknown. Gene expression signatures in sepsis are investigated in this project using serial samples obtained from patients admitted to intensive care units with community-acquired pneumonia or faecal peritonitis. The evolving gene expression signatures that define the response to sepsis were identified with large changes seen in genes coding for ribosomal proteins RPS4Y1 and RPS26P54. The differences in the sepsis response between the two diagnostic classes were examined. The gene expression predictors of mortality in sepsis were determined and include genes from the class II MHC HLA-DRB4, HLA-DRB5 and the T cell differentiation protein MAL. The effects of important covariates on gene expression were investigated and their impact on survival related expression determined. The findings were confirmed in a validation cohort. A novel clustering of samples representing distinct inflammatory patterns in a clinically homogeneous population of sepsis patients was identified and related to differences in clinical behaviour. The biological relevance of the differentially expressed genes was ascertained by identifying enriched gene sets. The gene expression changes in sepsis were examined in the context of related clinically relevant immune phenomena: the sterile systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery and the phenomenon of endotoxin tolerance in PBMCs derived from healthy volunteers. The results highlight the complexities of clinical sepsis and identify hypotheses for future investigations.
Supervisor: Knight, Julian; Hinds, Charles J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Life Sciences ; Bioinformatics (life sciences) ; Biology ; Genetics (life sciences) ; Biology (medical sciences) ; Genetics (medical sciences) ; Immunology ; Infectious diseases ; functional genomics ; sepsis ; community-acquired pneumonia ; faecal peritonitis ; septic shock ; microarray