Navigation Links
For some, surgical site infections are in the genes

(SALT LAKE CITY)An estimated 300,000 U.S. patients get surgical site infections every year, and while the causes are varied, a new University of Utah study suggests that some who get an infection can blame it partly on their genes.

In the Feb. 19, 2013, online edition of the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration, researchers from the University's School of Medicine show through a study of families in the Utah Population Database (UPD) that surgical site infections (SSI) appear to have a significant genetic connection, even in extended relatives. If further investigation bears out these findings, people who are genetically at risk for SSIs might be identified through personal genome analysis before surgery, according to Harriet W. Hopf, M.D., professor of anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine who is corresponding author on the study.

"Our research showed that people with surgical site infections are more likely to be related to one another than expected in the Utah population" Hopf says. "If that's the case, individual genome analysis might benefit many people if SSIs appear to run in their families. This type of personalized health care could be available in a few years, and with the unparalleled resource of the Utah Population Database (UPDB) and its world-class genetics research, the University of Utah is positioned to make it happen."

It's estimated that SSIs occur in approximately 5 percent of U.S. surgical procedures, resulting in longer hospitalizations and adding approximately $1 billion a year to the nation's health care bill. Infections can occur on the outer layer of skin at the surgical site or in deeper tissue below the skin.

Hopf, who's also associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Medicine, conducted the research with Lisa A. Cannon-Albright, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist, professor of internal medicine and senior author on the study, and former U of U medical student and first author, James P. Lee, M.D.

Through the UPDB, a remarkable storehouse of genealogical records, public health data, and records from hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, the researchers combed the records of 651 University of Utah Hospital patients who had suffered SSIs based on an internationally recognized medical code. (The researchers did not learn the names of the patients.) As controls, they used randomly selected U of U Hospital patients with the same birth year, birthplace, and sex as the group that did have infections. Only people with both parents, all four grandparents, and at least six of eight great-grandparents in the UPDB were analyzed in either group.

A test for excess familial relatedness, the Genealogical Index of Familiality (GIF), was performed to determine whether patients with SSIs were more related than expected, as measured by average relatedness in the randomly selected, matched controls. To rule out the possibility of shared environmental influences on predispositions to SSIs, the researchers also performed the analysis while ignoring first- and second-degree relationships (representing individuals who might be living together or in close proximity, such as parents, siblings, and offspring, and thus sharing non-genetic risk factors), according to Cannon-Albright.

The results might be considered surprising, showing that SSIs occurred more frequently than expected among, for example, third cousins and more distant relatives of individuals in the study. "People who'd had an SSI were significantly more related than we would have thought," she says. "The results indicate a strong genetic contribution to SSIs."

Hopf has researched SSIs for much of her career, suspecting that a mutation in a gene that makes superoxide, a compound released as part of the body's inflammatory response to invading pathogens, might cause a predisposition to the infections. The mutation could render this gene, p-47 phox, less efficient at making superoxide, leaving people more susceptible to SSIs.

Upon coming to the University in 2006, Hopf saw an ideal opportunity to investigate her hypothesis by taking advantage of the UPDB and the school's genetics expertise. "The chance to collaborate with people from different disciplines makes the University of Utah an exceptional place for this kind of research," she says.

For her next step, Hopf wants to draw blood samples from members of high-risk families identified in this study to investigate whether p-47 phox or other genes might predispose people to SSIs.


Contact: Phil Sahm
University of Utah Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. For some, deep brain stimulation brings lasting improvement in neuropathic pain
2. For Some, Views on Global Warming Change With the Weather
3. Diets High in Fructose May Harm Liver in Some, Scientists Warn
4. For Some, Glaucoma Strikes at a Young Age
5. Surgical Mesh Lawsuit Case Reviews From Experienced Lawyers Now Available at
6. Groundbreaking Training Video Prepares Surgical Team to Become Safest in the U.S.
7. Mussel-inspired glue for surgical repair and cancer drug delivery
8. Instrument handle with integrated electronics facilitates surgical procedures
9. Specific warning signs of complications in colorectal surgical patients released
10. Surgical Delivery of Drug Shows Promise Against Bleeding Stroke
11. Dental Diagnostic & Surgical Equipment Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% & to reach $6,073.7 Million by 2016 - by MarketsandMarkets
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has announced ... Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving Tuesday 2015, a ... including their ability to work and be productive, to do simple daily activities like ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 02, 2015 , ... ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research ... of treatment for osteoporosis ”. , As corresponding author Dr Ankita Modi says ... with osteoporosis. Based on a large US managed care database, women aged 55 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an ... has filed a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ... Care Act (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the ... named by MedEsthetics magazine as the Best Single Physician Practice in the nation. Dr. ... elite aesthetic physicians honored by the industry publication. , Dr. Vitenas said he ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... epidemic in the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and ... made significant strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- A large study of patients with breast cancer who ... found no increased risk of recurrence. The Kaiser Permanente ... National Cancer Institute. --> ... drug taken by women with breast cancer to reduce ... for five years, but has notable side effects, including ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BOTHELL Wash. and VANCOUVER ... Monitoring Committee (DMC) meeting, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... trial is continuing based on the pre-planned interim futility ... safety review, no new safety issues were identified by ... to all analyses and final results are expected in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... HERNDON, Va. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... (FDA) Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) approaches, ... helping small and independent pharmacies comply with looming ... --> InfiniTrak is entering endorsement agreements with ... a pharmacy services administration organization (PSAO) to exclusively ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: