ANZICS CTG Endorsed Study


Bacteraemic load and survival in septic patients

Study Description

It is established that earlier and correct antibiotic therapy improves survival for patients with septic shock. This study will evaluate a new technique, in which a molecular diagnostic method, termed PCR, is used to measure the amount of DNA from bacteria in the bloodstream of patients with septic shock. Different pathogenic bacteria have different sequences of DNA, and these differences are utilised to identify the type of bacteria that are present. It is known that the body’s immune response (mediated by proteins called cytokines) is the process by which recognition of infection by the body leads to the organ damage that characterises the process of sepsis. It is also known that patients’ genes influence their immune response to infection, the severity of septic shock, and a patient’s susceptibility to septic shock. BLISS aims to measure the bacterial DNA load and cytokine response over time in the first 72 hours and determine the diagnostic utility of this approach and the relationship/s between these parameters and the risk of death.

Management Committee

Jon Iredell (Chair), Michael Bailey, Simon Brown, Miranda Hardie, Masrura Kabir (Project Manager), Vineet Nayyar, Alistair Nichol, Ian Seppelt, Keith Stanley, and Steve Webb.

Administering Institution

Infectious Disease and Microbiology, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney


University of Sydney
University of Western Sydney
Monash University

Sample Size

110 patients


National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant $647,738

Project Status as of June 2019

The data have been reviewed extensively by team members and do not meet statistical significance due to inadequate enrolment during the ARISE study.

The data were presented at the ANZICS Winter Research Forum in 2017.




Jon Iredell (email)