Severe sepsis is an extreme response to an infection that can lead to systemic inflammation, organ failure, and even death. The presence of pathogens in the bloodstream is a critical factor that can induce this condition, particularly in vulnerable populations such as hospitalized children. A groundbreaking study recently published in the “Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi” sheds light on the pathogenic characteristics and influence factors of bloodstream infections leading to severe sepsis within pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). This news article delves into the intricate details of the study conducted and includes insights from the leading researchers at Shanghai Children’s Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

Key Findings

The comprehensive study carried out by Dou JY, Zhou YP, Cui YY, Sun T, Shi JY, Xiong XX, Zhang YC, and their team, engaged in a retrospective analysis to ascertain the prevalence of bloodstream infection-induced severe sepsis in PICUs and to identify the key pathogens and influence factors contributing to the condition’s occurrence and severity. The research has been published with the DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn112137-20230729-00115 and supported by grants from the National Key R&D Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Pathogens Identified

The research identified several gram-negative bacteria as the most common culprits behind severe sepsis in children, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria are known for their pathogenic potential and ability to cause serious infections.

Influence Factors

Several extrinsic and intrinsic factors were determined to influence the onset of bloodstream infection-induced severe sepsis. These factors ranged from the pathogenicity of the infecting organism to environmental and host factors such as immune status, underlying diseases, and treatment interventions.


The research methodology entailed a thorough retrospective review of the medical records of pediatric patients admitted to the PICU over a defined period. The team used advanced statistical analysis to calculate the odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) of various factors associated with bloodstream infection-induced severe sepsis.

The retrospective nature of the study allowed the researchers to glean insights from a large volume of patient data and facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the trends and patterns in severe sepsis cases in the PICU setting.

Implications of the Study

The study’s results are instrumental in guiding clinical practice and policy-making with respect to diagnostic strategies, treatment protocols, and infection control practices in PICUs. By identifying the key pathogens and influence factors, healthcare providers can better tailor their strategies to manage and prevent severe sepsis among pediatric patients.

The findings also prompt a need for ongoing research to keep abreast of evolving bacterial profiles, which can consequently affect treatment efficacy and infection control measures. This ensures that PICUs are well-equipped to combat severe sepsis effectively, enhancing patient outcomes and reducing morbidity rates associated with the condition.


The article then summarizes the high significance of the research findings and their potential impact on clinical practice. The study underscores the urgency of addressing bloodstream infections and the necessity of vigilant monitoring, targeted antibiotic therapy, and comprehensive care strategies to mitigate the risks of severe sepsis in PICUs. The robust analysis and findings of the research make a compelling case for better preparedness and response to severe sepsis in pediatric populations.

This article concludes with a spotlight on the dedication and efforts of healthcare professionals involved in the research and treatment of severe sepsis and the importance of continuous learning and advancement in this critical area of pediatric care.


1. Severe sepsis in children
2. Bloodstream infection PICU
3. Pediatric sepsis risk factors
4. Sepsis-causing bacteria in infants
5. Preventing sepsis in pediatric intensive care


1. Dou, J. Y., Zhou, Y. P., Cui, Y. Y., Sun, T., Shi, J. Y., Xiong, X. X., & Zhang, Y. C. (2024). [Pathogenic characteristics and influence factors of bloodstream infection-induced severe sepsis in pediatric intensive care unit]. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi, 104(3), 198-204. DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn112137-20230729-00115.

2. National Key R&D Program of China (2021). 2021YFC2701700, 2021YFC2701704.

3. National Natural Science Foundation of China (2021). Award number 82100085.

4. Singer, M., Deutschman, C. S., Seymour, C. W., Shankar-Hari, M., Annane, D., Bauer, M., … & Angus, D. C. (2016). The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3). JAMA, 315(8), 801-810.

5. Weiss, S. L., Fitzgerald, J. C., Pappachan, J., Wheeler, D., Jaramillo-Bustamante, J. C., Salloo, A., … & Children’s Sepsis Definitions Taskforce. (2015). Global epidemiology of pediatric severe sepsis: the sepsis prevalence, outcomes, and therapies study. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 191(10), 1147-1157.