Every year, about 50 million people worldwide suffer from sepsis and about 11 million die from it. Africa is disproportionately affected, but at the same time the possibilities for diagnosis and therapy are particularly limited. The high rate of infections with resistant bacteria and the severely limited availability of effective antibiotics exacerbate the problem. Recommendations and guidelines for the recognition and clinical management of sepsis were developed predominantly in and for industrialised countries and are transferable only to a very limited extent. Some recommendations for the treatment of sepsis have even proven to be harmful. Improving the care of patients with this serious and frequent clinical picture in Africa is urgently needed and an important goal of some current projects.
In this context, there are also important regional peculiarities to consider, such as the spectrum of pathogens and external influences. As we were able to show in a study, the altitude (approx. 2400m) also plays a role for the predictive power of the established sepsis scores, which can lead to a significant shift in the normal values of the vital parameters, especially the respiratory rate and oxygen saturation.
Current projects aim at tailored and innovative diagnostics, e.g. an adaptation of clinical sepsis scores can improve the early detection of sepsis. In microbiological diagnostics, both the improvement of classical culture-based methods and the application of modern molecular biological methods (e.g. genetic resistance markers and next generation sequencing (NGS) for pathogen diagnostics) are part of the projects.