for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at UC Davis
study started
estimated completion
Nam Tran, PhD(ucdavis)



The purpose of this study is to determine if rapid early detection of the bacteria causing sepsis in burn patients improves patient outcomes.

Official Title

Rapid, Quantitative, PCR-Based Detection Of Staphylococcus Aureus in Burn Sepsis Patients


Burn patients have lost their primary barrier to microorganism invasion and therefore are continually and chronically exposed to pathogens. Ninety-seven percent of patients with >20% total body surface area (TBSA) burns develop septicemia; predominantly involving gram positive cocci including MRSA and methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Blood culture (BC) is the traditional detection method for septicemia. However, antibiotics and inadequate sample volumes can impair detection by BC and results can take 3-4 days.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) represents a potential adjunct to BC. Pathogens are detected in a growth-independent manner by targeting their genetic make-up. Quantitative determining of pathogen DNA using PCR could aid in determining antimicrobial drug therapy efficacy by providing results on the same testing day as opposed to 3-4 days with BC. PCR may also detect persistent infections during antimicrobial therapy when culture samples are inhibited.

The aims of this study are:(1)to correlate quantitative PCR results with that of the BC; (2) to test the clinical application of PCR results with clinical outcomes of treatment of presumptive diagnosis of staphylococcal sepsis.


Burns Sepsis Burn Infection PCR test PCR testing


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • 20% or > TBSA burns at hospital admission
  • will require BC during hospital stay
  • Patient/surrogate able to sign consent

You CAN'T join if...

  • allergic to nafcillin, cefazolin, vancomycin, linezolid, and/or daptomycin
  • on antibiotic(s) prior to first BC


  • University of California Davis Medical Center-Regional Burn Center
    Sacramento California 95817 United States
  • Harborview Medical Center
    Seattle Washington 98104 United States

Lead Scientist

  • Nam Tran, PhD (ucdavis)
    Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 34 research publications


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
American Burn Association
Study Type
Last Updated