Future Biomarkers for Infection and Inflammation in Febrile Children

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Febrile patients, suffering from an infection, inflammatory disease or autoimmunity may present with similar or overlapping clinical symptoms, which makes early diagnosis difficult. Therefore, biomarkers are needed to help physicians form a correct diagnosis and initiate the right treatment to improve patient outcomes following first presentation or admittance to hospital. Here, we review the landscape of novel biomarkers and approaches of biomarker discovery. We first discuss the use of current plasma parameters and whole blood biomarkers, including results obtained by RNA profiling and mass spectrometry, to discriminate between bacterial and viral infections. Next we expand upon the use of biomarkers to distinguish between infectious and non-infectious disease. Finally, we discuss the strengths as well as the potential pitfalls of current developments. We conclude that the use of combination tests, using either protein markers or transcriptomic analysis, have advanced considerably and should be further explored to improve current diagnostics regarding febrile infections and inflammation. If proven effective when combined, these biomarker signatures will greatly accelerate early and tailored treatment decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number631308
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021


  • bacterial infection
  • biomarker
  • febrile children
  • inflammation
  • viral infection

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