Non-invasive detection of meningitis: development of an in vivo leukocyte counting method using ultrasound

165 newborns die every day of Bacterial Meningitis (BM), an aggressive infection that leaves severe sequelae among 30% of survivors. Rapid detection, particularly in this age group, is difficult due to the little specificity and overlap of its symptoms with those of more common and less severe diseases. Current strategy to improve prognosis is the prompt antibiotic treatment after an early diagnosis by means of a lumbar puncture (LP), invasive and potentially harmful procedure. However, about 95% of the 8.000 LPs performed in young infants with fever of unknown source and suspected for BM result negative, raising Spanish hospital costs in 25M€. In resource-constrained countries lacking of laboratory facilities to analyse the sample, LPs are under-performed in spite of the high incidence of the infection in this context and raising neonatal mortality up to 50%. In such scenario our objective is, first, to develop a technology providing a non-invasive measurement of the leucocyte concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of newborn suspected for BM. A high leucocyte concentration raises the BM suspicion and confirms the need of antibiotic treatment. The measurement will be done through the young infant fontanel by means of a prototype based on high frequency (20-25MHz) ultrasound. This research team already showed our capability to evaluate the leucocyte concentration of in vitro samples. In addition, we aim to demonstrate the performance of this meningitis screening method in a clinic study in patients with BM disease suspicion.

Revistas JCR
ULAB PSUM Development and Characterization of Medical Phantoms for Ultrasound Imaging Based on Customizable and Mouldable Polyvinyl Alcohol Cryogel–Based Materials and 3-D Printing: Application to High-Frequency Cranial Ultrasonography in Infants
Luis Elvira, Carmen Durán, Ricardo T. Higuti, Marcelo M. Tiago, Alberto Ibáñez, Montserrat Parrilla, Eva Valverde, Javier Jiménez, Quique Bassat
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology Volume 45, Issue 8, August 2019, Pages 2226-2241
ULAB Versatile Ultrasonic Spectrometer for Liquids With Practical Sample Handling by Using Standard Cuvettes
Tiago, M.M.; Higuti, R.T.; Segura, L.E.; Kitano, C.; Assuncao, E.; Oliveira, S.L.
IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control ( Volume: 66 , Issue: 1 , Jan. 2019 )
ULAB Determination of Phase Jumps in the Measurement of Phase Velocity of Samples Obeying a Frequency Power-Law Attenuation Coefficient Using Kramers– Kronig Relations
L. Elvira, M. M. Tiago, S. A. N. Yoza, C. Kitano and R. T. Higuti
IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, vol. 67, no. 7, pp. 1438- 1447, July 2020
ULAB PSUM Estimation of the concentration of particles in suspension based on envelope statistics of ultrasound backscattering
Alba Fernández, Alberto Ibáñez, Montserrat Parrilla, Luis Elvira, Quique Bassat, Javier Jiménez
Ultrasonics Vol 116, 106501, septiembre 2021
ULAB PSUM A New Methodology for the Assessment of Very Low Concentrations of Cells in Serous Body Fluids Based on the Count of Ultrasound Echoes Backscattered From Cells
Luis Elvira, Alberto Ibáñez, Alba Fernández, Carmen Durán, Montserrat Parrilla, Alicia Pose Díez de la Lastra, Quique Bassat y Javier Jiménez
IEEE Transactions in Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency control, Vol 68, No 5, pp 1580-1592, mayo 2021
Entidades participantes en el proyecto

ISGlobal, CSIC