Blood Stream Infections: Focus on Outcomes



Principal / Lead Investigator
Prof Alasdair MacGowen, University of Bristol
Cardiff Lead: Prof Chris Butler

Prof Kate Gould (Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS Trust), Dr Peter Wilson (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Adam Fraise (University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust), Prof Mark Wilcox (Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust), Dr Robin Howe (Cardiff & Vale University UHB), Dr David Livermore (HPA), Dr David Ansell (North Bristol NHS Trust), Dr Andrew Lovering (North Bristol NHS Trust), Dr Chris Rogers (University of Bristol), Mrs Corinne Thomas (North Bristol NHS Trust).

Type of study
Research for Patient Benefit Program

Blood poisoning (blood stream infection: BSI) is one of the most serious kinds of infection.  Every year in the UK, there are up to 100,000 cases of BSI identified with the aid of tests done in microbiology laboratories – about 15,000 of these patients die.  The purpose of our research is to improve how patients with BSI are treated with a view to reducing deaths.

The three parts of the research will:-

>    Identify factors which can be changed that increase the risk of death in BSI due to four specific infectious agents:  Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, multi resistant Escheridia coli or Klebsiella spp and Candida spp.  These infections are common, and difficult to treat.

>    Assess how a more rapid series of diagnostic laboratory tests will affect what happens to patients with BSI.  We will use newly available techniques based on molecular biology to provide rapid information on the type of infection and the best antibiotic treatment.  This will be compared to the care patients would normally receive.

>    Information obtained in these studies will be used as the basis for an educational programme for workers in the health service so they can be more easily translated into actions.  We will base this on a new web-based programme already funded and in use for general practitioners (GPs).  The value of this approach for hospital specialists will be assessed.

We have considerable experience in performing infection research but have also involved experts from abroad to help us get our research just right.  The major outputs will be to identify factors resulting in poor outcomes in BSI, establish if improved speed of laboratory diagnosis will help improve patient outcome, and an evaluated web based educational programme for those treating BSI.

Group role / contribution

WSPCR supported

Start date
Oct 2010 - Sep 2015