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Elucidating the role of genomics in neonatal sepsis.

Sepsis is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, especially in vulnerable preterm populations. Immature immune defenses, and environmental and maternal factors contribute to this risk, with as many as a third of very preterm infants experiencing sepsis during their stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Epidemiologic and twin studies have suggested that there is a genetic contribution to sepsis predilection. Several investigators have conducted candidate gene association studies on variants of specific interest and potential functional significance in neonatal sepsis. In this review, we describe details of studies that have evaluated genetic susceptibility in neonatal sepsis, and summarize findings from a review of candidate gene association studies.

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