Public Health Genomics

Metabolomics in sepsis and its impact on public health

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Sepsis, with its often devastating consequences for patients and their families, remains a major public health concern that poses an increasing financial burden. Early resuscitation together with the elucidation of the biological pathways and pathophysiological mechanisms with the use of "-omics" technologies have started changing the clinical and research landscape in sepsis. Metabolomics (i.e., the study of the metabolome), an "-omics" technology further down in the "-omics" cascade between the genome and the phenome, could be particularly fruitful in sepsis research with the potential to alter the clinical practice. Apart from its benefit for the individual patient, metabolomics has an impact on public health that extends beyond its applications in medicine. In this review, we present recent developments in metabolomics research in sepsis, with a focus on pneumonia, and we discuss the impact of metabolomics on public health, with a focus on free/libre open source software.