Nathan Kuppermann, professor and chair of emergency medicine at UC Davis Health System, has been honored with an award for his research into finding a better way to distinguish bacterial infections from viral infections in young, febrile infants.
At the Pediatric Academic Societies' recent meeting in Boston, Kuppermann, along with his multi-institutional research colleagues, Prashant Mahajan of Children's Hospital of Michigan, and Octavio Ramillo of Nationwide Children's Hospital, received the Best Pediatric Emergency Medicine Abstract Award.
The honor recognized Kuppermann and his colleagues for their presentation regarding an ongoing study to evaluate the use of RNA biosignatures to determine the cause of fevers in young infants. Their research findings could lead to more rapid and accurate diagnoses and treatment for serious bacterial infections such as bacteremia and meningitis.
Despite the frequency of fever in young infants presenting to emergency departments, and the importance of this problem in emergency medical services for children, there currently is no single or combined set of clinical parameters and laboratory tests that can uniformly distinguish infants with serious bacterial infections from those with uncomplicated and self-limiting viral or non-bacterial infections.
Kuppermann and his colleagues are leading a multi-site study at more than 20 children's hospitals to examine the efficacy of using a novel approach that involves the use of a microarray analysis to distinguish between bacterial and non-bacterial pathogens. All of the study sites are within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) network, which Kuppermann helped to establish. Since the study began nearly three years ago, the team has collected more than 2,000 biosignature samples from febrile infants.
The Pediatric Academic Societies represent four individual pediatric organizations -- the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nearly 7,000 people attended this year's conference, which attracted pediatricians and other health-care providers who are practicing in the research, academic and clinical arenas.