Prognostic serum tumor necrosis factor-α in paediatric patients with sepsis

Surinder Kumar, Meher Rizvi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the association of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in paediatric patients with different etiological agents and levels of sepsis. Methodology: Seventy-nine patients with sepsis were studied. Blood cultures, along with other relevant specimens, were processed for bacterial and fungal etiology. TNF-α was detected by enzyme immunoassay. Results: In total, 42 (53.2%) of the patients had a microbiologically documented cause for sepsis. Of the gram-negative bacilli, Escherichia coli was the most common isolate followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Enterobacter spp. Serratia marscecens as well as Citrobacter koseri. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus predominated among the gram-positive cocci. Patients with a positive culture had significantly higher TNF-α levels than patients with a negative culture (70 pg/ml vs. 33 pg/ml p = 0.01). Patients with a pure gram-negative infection had significantly higher TNF-α levels than those with pure gram-positive infection (83 pg/ml vs.52 pg/ml). The geometric mean TNF-α concentrations in patients with severe sepsis and those with late septic shock were 47 pg/ml (range 5-2720) and 59 pg/ml (range 5-3310) respectively. Conclusion: TNF-α was significantly raised in culture-positive cases in general and in gram-negative infections in particular. It can be used as a surrogate marker of sepsis and aggressive treatment initiated in patients with elevated levels of TNF alpha.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infection in Developing Countries
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric
  • Sepsis
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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