AI Transforms Sepsis Care With Faster, More Effective Treatments

Emergency Room Hospital

Day Zero Diagnostics introduced Keynome gAST, a genomic testing method using AI to accelerate sepsis diagnosis by directly analyzing bacterial genomes from patient samples, potentially transforming treatment and reducing mortality.

Researchers at Day Zero Diagnostics have developed Keynome gAST, an AI-driven genomic Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test that quickly predicts antimicrobial resistance by analyzing bacterial genomes from blood samples. This breakthrough, demonstrated at ASM Microbe, could drastically improve sepsis diagnosis and treatment, speeding up decision-making and potentially saving lives amidst increasing antimicrobial resistance.

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection complication and accounts for 1.7 million hospitalizations and 350,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Fast and accurate diagnosis is critical, as mortality risk increases up to 8% every hour without effective treatment.

However, the current diagnostic standard is reliant on culture growth, which typically takes 2-3 days. Doctors may choose to administer broad-spectrum antibiotics until more information is available for an accurate diagnosis, but these can have limited efficacy and potential toxicity to the patient.

Innovative AI Approach in Diagnostics

In a study presented at ASM Microbe, a team from Day Zero Diagnostics unveiled a novel approach to antimicrobial susceptibility testing using artificial intelligence (AI).

Their system, Keynome gAST, or genomic Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test, bypasses the need for culture growth by analyzing bacterial whole genomes extracted directly from patient blood samples. The interim findings are based on studies that collected samples from 4 Boston-area hospitals.

Revolutionizing Sepsis Treatment with Machine Learning

Unlike traditional methods that rely on known resistance genes, the machine learning algorithms autonomously identify drivers of resistance and susceptibility based on data from a continuously growing large-scale database of more than 75,000 bacterial genomes and 800,000 susceptibility test results (48,000 bacterial genomes and 450,000 susceptibility test results at the time of this study). This allows for rapid and accurate predictions of antimicrobial resistance, revolutionizing sepsis diagnosis and treatment.

Future Directions and Implications

“The result is a first-of-its-kind demonstration of comprehensive and high-accuracy antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance predictions on direct-from-blood clinical samples,” said Jason Wittenbach, Ph.D., Director of Data Science at Day Zero Diagnostics and lead author on the study. “This represents a critical demonstration of the feasibility of rapid machine learning-based diagnostics for antimicrobial resistance that could revolutionize treatment, reduce hospital stays, and save lives.”

The researchers say that further study is needed, given the limited sample size, but the findings could contribute to significant advancements in patient outcomes amid the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance and the need for rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

Funding for this research was provided in part by the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).

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