Prestigious grant HORIZON EUROPE for BEATsep consortium to research the long-term consequences of sepsis

Despite the best efforts of modern medicine, sepsis remains a life-threatening condition and a leading cause of death among critically ill patients, with a global mortality rate reaching 20%. Survivors of sepsis often grapple with multiple health issues and an increased risk of further complications due to their compromised immune system. The BEATsep research consortium is dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding of the factors affecting the quality of life for sepsis survivors. We are delighted to announce the funding of our research project titled, ‘Biomarkers established to stratify sepsis long-term adverse effects to improve patients’ health and quality of life,’ with a grant of approximately €6.9 million over the next five years to address this challenge. Based at the Faculty of Medicine at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia our team will investigate alterations in the blood microenvironment and molecular mechanisms responsible for aberrant immune responses and neurological impairments in sepsis survivors. We will also actively engage in patient enrollment.

Scientists from the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Ireland, Austria and Slovakia have joined to study the long-term immunological impact of septic shock as members of this consortium led by the Cellular and Molecular Immunoregulation (CMI) research team at the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC) based in the Czech Republic. “The project has the chance to understand better and fundamentally change the recovery of pediatric and adult patients who have suffered septic shock,” says Dr. Jan Frič, head of the CMI team at ICRC. The ICRC is a joint facility of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University. The consortium’s project is to receive approximately €6.9 million in European Union funding over the next five years, roughly €700,000 of which will flow to scientists and clinicians at the Institute of Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

As a prospective observational study, BEATsep will benefit from the recruitment of two different cohorts with sepsis – pediatric as well as adult, and Slovakia will participate in not just their enrollment but also in research of the consequences of this severe condition. “We hypothesize that the post-sepsis alterations in immune homeostasis may be linked to a particular immune defense mechanism – extracellular traps formed during septic shock. Their remnants lingering in the body may engage our immune cells and potentially contribute to post-sepsis neurological impairments,” explains Michal Pastorek from the Institute of Molecular Biomedicine.

The project is an example of an innovative and successful combination of translational and clinical research, the know-how of several international scientists, and the collaboration between hospitals, universities and other scientific institutions. In addition to the Institute of Molecular Biomedicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University the following institutions are involved in the project led by the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC), based in the Czech Republic: Masaryk University Brno and the National Institute of Health (Czech Republic), Institute for Innate Immunity of the University Hospital Bonn and the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence of the University of Bonn (Germany), Ludwig Boltzman Institute (Austria), Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy and  Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Marseille (France), National University of Ireland and the Lung Biology Cluster (Ireland) and BioVariance GmbH in Tirschenreuth (Bavaria).

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Media contact:

Michal Pastorek, PhD.

Institute of Molecular Biomedicine

Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava

Phone: +421-2-59357-371