Background: Neonatal sepsis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The ability to quickly and accurately diagnose neonatal sepsis based on clinical assessments and laboratory blood tests remains difficult, where haemoculture is the gold standard for detecting bacterial sepsis in blood culture. It is also very difficult to study because neonatal samples are lacking.
Methods : Fifty-four newborns suspected of sepsis admitted to the Neonatology Department of the Mother-Child Specialized Hospital of Tlemcen. From each newborn, a minimum of 1-2 ml of blood was drawn by standard sterile procedures for blood culture. The miRNA-23b level in haemoculture was evaluated by RT-qPCR.
Results : miR-23b levels increased in premature and full-term newborns in early onset sepsis ( p < 0.001 and p < 0.005 respectively), but lowered in late onset sepsis in premature and full-term neonates ( p < 0.005) compared to the respective negative controls. miR-23b levels also increased in late sepsis negative versus early sepsis negative controls ( p < 0.05). miR-23b levels significantly lowered in the newborns who died from both sepsis types ( p < 0.0001 and p < 0.05 respectively). Conclusions : The drop in miR-23b levels is an important factor that favours sepsis development, which would confirm their vital protective role, and strongly suggest that they act as a good marker in both molecular diagnosis and patient monitoring.