Febrile illness – the manifestation of a high fever – can be problematic for healthcare providers who, in their search to identify the cause, cannot always tell whether a patient is suffering from a bacterial or viral infection. Febrile patients are therefore often unnecessarily subjected to hospitalization, invasive investigation and antibiotic treatment for a presumed bacterial infection when their fever is caused by a trivial, self-resolving viral infection.
The PERFORM project’s approach to improving diagnosis and the management of febrile patients is to combine clinical data and characterize clinical samples from European and African patients, building on previous EU-funded studies to develop Europe’s most comprehensive biobank to date.
This biobank will enable the project partners to identify candidate biomarkers to distinguish between bacterial and viral infection.
The biomarkers identified as the most accurate will then be tested and evaluated in patients suffering from febrile illness across different healthcare settings in the EU. Building on pilot data from previous studies, including healthcare provider and patient surveys, the results will be used to develop a management plan for febrile patients, which could be rolled out across Europe.
The management plan will include novel diagnostic tests that use clinical markers for febrile illness as well as guidelines for their application, with specific reference to children.