The role of proteomics and metabolomics in severe infections

Pedro Póvoa, Lieuwe D. J. Bos, Luís Coelho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Severe infections are a common cause of ICU admission, with a high morbidity and mortality. Omics, namely proteomics and metabolomics, aim to identify, characterize, and quantify biological molecules to achieve a systems-level understanding of disease. The aim of this review is to provide a clear overview of the current evidence of the role of proteomics and metabolomics in severe infections. RECENT FINDINGS: Proteomics and metabolomics are technologies that are being used to explore new markers of diagnosis and prognosis, clarify mechanisms of disease, and consequently discover potential targets of therapy and finally of a better disease phenotyping. These technologies are starting to be used but not yet in clinical use. SUMMARY: Our traditional way of approaching the disease as sepsis is believing that a process can be broken into its parts and that the whole can be explained by the sum of each part. This approach is highly reductionist and does not take the system complexity nor the nonlinear dynamics of the processes. Proteomics and metabolomics allow the analysis of several proteins and metabolites simultaneously, thereby generating diagnostic and prognostic signatures. An exciting future prospect for proteomics and metabolomics is their employment towards precision medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • ICU
  • diagnosis
  • metabolomics
  • proteomics
  • severe infections

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