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Ventilator infection identified by genes

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Genetic analysis can distinguish pneumonia associated with ventilator use from underlying illnesses, claim US researchers.

In analysing more than 8,000 genes in seven patients who were in ICUs and on ventilators, they identified changes in 85 genes that indicated an early activation of the immune system in response to pneumonia.

‘This suggests that we could start patients on antibiotics earlier, say at the first change in these genomic vital signs,’ said study author Perren Cobb, director of Washington University’s center for critical illness and health engineering.

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