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Plasma IgM levels differentiate between survivors and non-survivors of culture-positive and culture-negative sepsis and SIRS: a pilot study

Pathare, Navichandra, Szakmany, Tamas, Hall, Judith E. and Heurich, Meike 2021. Plasma IgM levels differentiate between survivors and non-survivors of culture-positive and culture-negative sepsis and SIRS: a pilot study. Journal of Clinical Medicine 10 (22) , 5391. 10.3390/jcm10225391

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Immunoglobulin IgM is important for controlling viral and bacterial infections, and low immunoglobulin levels have been found in sepsis. There is a clear need to stratify sepsis patients according to the presence of an invading organism, compared to no organism identified, and SIRS patients, where organ dysfunction is a result of a non-infective process. The aim of this pilot study in a small cohort of patients with sepsis was to evaluate the association between IgM plasma levels and survival in 47 patients with sepsis and 11 patients diagnosed with organ failure without the identification of a pathogen (SIRS). Patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK between 2010 and 2014. We found that low IgM levels were associated with sepsis, but not SIRS. IgM levels did not differ significantly for culture-positive (CP) compared with culture-negative (CN, no organism found) sepsis samples. Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to compare survival curves according to IgM levels, with no significant difference. We observed significantly higher survival in the CP samples when comparing with CN. Cut-off value for IgM (266 μg/mL) for diagnosis of sepsis patients was determined using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves with 70% sensitivity, 69% specificity and 92% negative predictive values (NPV), respectively. The corresponding area under the curve (AUC) for the discrimination of sepsis patients was AUC = 0.73, and in a subgroup analysis of CP was AUC = 0.77 and for CN was AUC = 0.79. We confirm IgM as a good diagnostic marker of sepsis. These findings indicate a difference in the pathology between culture-positive versus negative sepsis, SIRS and survival. This indicates that IgM is likely relevant to pathology, because of its role in the early immune response against pathogens, the potentially protective role of natural IgM antibodies, and supports its application in immunoglobulin therapy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2077-0383
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2021
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2021 13:38

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