One of the aims of The Lee Spark Necrotising Fasciitis (NF) Foundation is to help the medical profession gain a better understanding of how NF develops, how it can be identified early, and how it can be treated.
We were selected to be part of a five year EU programme working with seven European countries. The name of the project INFECT.
This EU project aims at applying a systems medicine approach to elucidate the complex host and pathogen signatures that dictate severe bacterial tissue infections.
INFECT aims to substantially contribute to the systems understanding of the pathophysiology of highly lethal destructive tissue infections, I.e. necrotising fasciitis and other necrotising soft tissue infections (NSTIs).
Despite significant advances in the field of NSTIs with defined virulence or host factors being identified as pivotal mediators contributing to disease outcome, the results have proven to be of limited clinical use and it is apparent that there remains a major gap between this new knowledge and clinical utility/benefit to patients.
Part of this gap is likely because target responses have been analysed in isolation rather than within physiological networks, plus the fact that clinical data are often ignored in experimental mechanistic studies. INFECT proposes to overcome this knowledge gap through a solid systems biology approach in patients and clinically relevant systems, thereby significantly advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology that contributes to severity and outcome of NSTI.
We aim, furthermore, to set the basis for the translation of this understanding into rapid diagnostics and improved, tailored clinical practice by working jointly with clinicians, a diagnostics SME and a patient organisation.
INFECT is based on a consortium consisting of 14 international partners, that has joined forces to employ a new strategy to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of NSTIs; thereby improve identification and management of patients and promote novel developments in therapeutics and diagnostics of NSTIs. The project is divided into 9 different Work Packages (WP1-9).
This includes seven scientific work packages (WPs 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) combined with one dissemination work package (WP8) and one management work package (WP9).
The findings of the project can be found here.