Novel AI tool can predict risk of infection after surgery

LONDON, Dec 16: Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can successfully predict whether a patient is at risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening infection after surgery.
Staphylococcus epidermidis is an ubiquitous coloniser of healthy human skin, but it is also a notorious source of serious infections with indwelling devices and surgical procedures such as hip replacements.
It has not been known whether all members of the S epidermidis population colonising the skin asymptomatically are capable of causing such infections, or if some of them have a heightened tendency to do so when they enter either the bloodstream or a deep tissue.
Scientists from the Aalto University and the University of Helsinki in Finland combined large-scale population genomics and in vitro measurements of immunologically relevant features of these bacteria.
They were then able to use machine learning to successfully predict the risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening infection from the genomic features of a bacterial isolate.
The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, opens the door for future technology where high-risk genotypes are identified proactively when a person is to undergo a surgical procedure, which has high potential to reduce the burden of infections caused by S epidermidis. (AGENCIES)