University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Sepsis, or dysregulated inflammation caused by bacterial infection, places a disproportionately high burden on newborns in developing countries. This is due in part to a lack of diagnostic tools suitable for sustainable use in resource-limited nurseries. One potential vehicle for a new diagnostic assay is loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), a high-yield DNA amplification method. LAMP has previously been used to detect genes from single species of bacteria in blood serum samples to aid in sepsis diagnosis. LAMP could be adapted to detect a broad set of bacteria, while retaining a degree of specificity that allows clinicians to begin directed antimicrobial therapy. Described herein is the successful design of a novel group of oligonucleotide LAMP primer sets that specifically bind to regions of the 16S rRNA gene of four bacterial orders. These could provide clinicians with a two-step sepsis-diagnosis technique that would provide a result in only one hour.