Researchers Discover Genetic Marker for Survival of Sepsis

Researchers have discovered a genetic marker in patients who have a greater likelihood of surviving sepsis, according to research to be published in the April 2011 issue of Anesthesiology.

The researchers studied aquaporins and evaluated the association between AQP genotype and survival in severe sepsis. These proteins act as water channels through biological membranes of almost all cells in the human body and regulate multiple psychological pathways. Patients with a particular AQP5 promoter genotype were more than three times as likely to die from sepsis.

The study examined 154 German patients of Caucasian ethnicity with severe sepsis. The patients were genotyped for the AQP5 promoter polymorphism. Within the AQP5 promoter, researchers identified a genetic variant in some of the patients, which alters AQP5 expression. The study showed for the first time that this common genetic variation commonly influenced survival in severe sepsis. Survival rates were 57 percent for AA genotypes and 83 percent for combined AA/CC genotypes.

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