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A Novel Combination of Host Protein Biomarkers to Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections in Febrile Children in Emergency Care


Tan, Chantal D; van den Broek, Bryan; Womersley, Rebecca S; Kaforou, Myrsini; Hagedoorn, Nienke N; van der Flier, Michiel; Jackson, Heather; Moll, Henriette A; Snijder, Rozemarijn; de Jonge, Marien I; Vermont, Clementien L; PERFORM Consortium (2023). A Novel Combination of Host Protein Biomarkers to Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections in Febrile Children in Emergency Care. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 42(7):e235-e242.

Abstract

Background: Distinguishing bacterial and viral infections based on clinical symptoms in febrile children attending the emergency department (ED) is challenging. The aim of this study is to determine a novel combination of host protein biomarkers and to assess its performance in distinguishing between bacterial and viral infection in febrile children attending EDs.

Methods: A literature search was performed to identify blood protein biomarkers able to distinguish bacterial and viral infections (May 2015-May 2019). We selected 7 protein biomarkers: Procalcitonin, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, Interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (CXCL-10), interferon-gamma and lipocalin 2 (LCN2). These were measured in blood plasma using a bead-based immunoassay in children with a confirmed bacterial or viral infection attending EDs in the Netherlands. We used generalized linear modeling to classify bacterial and viral infections and applied a previously developed feature selection algorithm to select the optimal combination of proteins. We performed a subgroup analysis of this protein signature in patients with C-reactive protein <60 mg/L, representing a clinically challenging diagnostic group.

Results: In total 102 children were included (N = 67 bacterial; N = 35 viral). Individual performance of the 7 biomarkers in classifying bacterial versus viral infections ranged from 60.8%-74.5% area under the receiver operator curve (AUC). TRAIL, LCN2 and IL-6 were identified as the best 3-protein signature with an AUC of 86% (95% CI: 71.3%-100%). In 57 patients with C-reactive protein levels <60 mg/L, the 3-protein signature had an AUC of 85.1% (95% CI: 75.3%-94.9%).

Conclusion: We demonstrate a promising novel combination of 3 host protein biomarkers; TRAIL, LCN2 and IL-6, which performs well in classifying bacterial and viral infections in febrile children in emergency care.

Abstract

Background: Distinguishing bacterial and viral infections based on clinical symptoms in febrile children attending the emergency department (ED) is challenging. The aim of this study is to determine a novel combination of host protein biomarkers and to assess its performance in distinguishing between bacterial and viral infection in febrile children attending EDs.

Methods: A literature search was performed to identify blood protein biomarkers able to distinguish bacterial and viral infections (May 2015-May 2019). We selected 7 protein biomarkers: Procalcitonin, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, Interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (CXCL-10), interferon-gamma and lipocalin 2 (LCN2). These were measured in blood plasma using a bead-based immunoassay in children with a confirmed bacterial or viral infection attending EDs in the Netherlands. We used generalized linear modeling to classify bacterial and viral infections and applied a previously developed feature selection algorithm to select the optimal combination of proteins. We performed a subgroup analysis of this protein signature in patients with C-reactive protein <60 mg/L, representing a clinically challenging diagnostic group.

Results: In total 102 children were included (N = 67 bacterial; N = 35 viral). Individual performance of the 7 biomarkers in classifying bacterial versus viral infections ranged from 60.8%-74.5% area under the receiver operator curve (AUC). TRAIL, LCN2 and IL-6 were identified as the best 3-protein signature with an AUC of 86% (95% CI: 71.3%-100%). In 57 patients with C-reactive protein levels <60 mg/L, the 3-protein signature had an AUC of 85.1% (95% CI: 75.3%-94.9%).

Conclusion: We demonstrate a promising novel combination of 3 host protein biomarkers; TRAIL, LCN2 and IL-6, which performs well in classifying bacterial and viral infections in febrile children in emergency care.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Infectious Diseases, Microbiology (medical), Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
Language:English
Date:1 July 2023
Deposited On:14 Dec 2023 14:27
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 03:31
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:0891-3668
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/inf.0000000000003952
PubMed ID:37200500