Miss Eva Kierath1, Dr Nicola Gray, Dr Mark Fear, Dr Luke Whiley, Prof Fiona Wood
1BIRU, Perth, Western Australia , Australia
It has been established that a subset of paediatric patients that have sustained minor burns will face an altered life trajectory with poor long term health outcomes. This change is evident in cases with good burn related outcomes, including minimal scarring and limited effect on range of movement. This pilot study aimed to begin understanding if metabolic agents are responsible for this change.
A cohort of 26 patients with nonmajor burn injury between 1 and 3 years of age were reviewed between 5 and 8 years of age, when blood samples were taken for analysis along with a non-injured, healthy, age and gender matched control group. Samples were analysed using untargeted mass spectrometry. Clinical data including immunisation history was collected. Each subjects’ response to childhood vaccination (DPT, Polio, Hib & Hepatitis B) was also assessed
The burns cohort had far more subjects that were non-responders to vaccination than the control group (13:1). Analysis of individual lipid metabolites showed the 11 lipid metabolites that were significantly increased in the burn cohort relative to controls, and 3 lipid metabolites that were significantly increased in the control group relative to burns. When analysing lipid metabolites that have been summed by class there was a significant increase in Lysophosphatidylethanolamine in both the burn group relative to controls and vaccine non-responders relative to responders.
Changes in the lipid profile post injury and those related to immune differences in vaccine response may give insight into the long-term changes post burn injury.
Eva graduated with a BDSc from the University of Western Australia in 2015. After 5 years working clinically she has now changed paths and is transitioning to a career in medical research.