Bacterial infections and sepsis continue to be major causes of death in our region. 

Sepsis is an illness in which the body has a severe response to bacteria or other germs. Menzies is identifying predictors of death and new mechanisms underlying severe infection.

Our research focus:
  • To find new ways to treat and improve the outcome of sepsis
  • To complete analysis of the largest prospective cohort study of sepsis infections in the published literature
  • To investigate the clinical and molecular epidemiology of severe community-acquired infections in the Top End, including Acinetobacter, Staphylococcus aureus and group A Streptococcus.
Our research impact:
  • Leading randomised controlled trials of new strategies for the treatment of MRSA (golden staph) blood stream infection, cellulitis and severe sepsis
  • Updated management guidelines for pneumonia in Northern Australia
  • Described, for the first time, significant reductions in T cell zeta chain expression and T cell dysfunction in sepsis patients. Showed that the SMARTCOP scoring system (a clinical risk stratification score) is effective in predicting which patients are at high risk of dying, and certainly outperforms the more commonly used and complicated PSI score.
  1. Davis J.S., Cheng, A.C., McMillan, M., Humphrey, A., Stephens, D.P., & Anstey, N.M. (2011). Sepsis in the tropical Northern Territory of Australia: high disease burden with disproportionate impact on Indigenous Australians. Medical Journal of Australia, 194(10), 519-524.

  2. Davis, J.S., McMillan, M., Swaminathan, A., Kelly, J., Piera, K., Baird, R., et al. (2014). A 16-year prospective study of community-onset bacteremic Acinetobacter pneumonia: low mortality with appropriate initial empirical antibiotic protocols. Chest, 146(4), 1038-45.

  3. Tong, S.Y.C., Davis, J.S., Eishenberger, E., Holland, T., & Fowler V,G. (2015). Staphylococcus aureus Infections: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Clinical Manifestations, and Management. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, in press. Accepted 14/04/2015.

  4. Davis, J.S., Yeo, T.W., Thomas, J.H., McMillan, M., Darcy, C.H., McNeil, Y.M., et al. (2009). Sepsis-associated microvascular dysfunction measured by peripheral arterial tonometry: An observational study. Critical Care, 13, R155.

  5. Davis, J.S., Yeo, T.W., Piera, K., Woodberry, T., Celermajer, D., Stephens, D., et al. (2010). Angiopoietin-2 is increased in sepsis and inversely associated with nitric oxide-dependent microvascular reactivity. Critical Care, 14, R89.

  6. Dulhunty, J.M., Roberts, J.A., Davis, J.S., Webb, S.A., Bellomo, R., Gomersall, C., et al. (2013). Continuous infusion of Beta-lactam antibiotics in severe sepsis: a multicenter double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 56(2), 236-44.

  7. Darcy, C.J., Minigo, G., Piera, K., Davis J.S., McNeil, Y., Chen, Y., et al. (2014). Neutrophils with myeloid derived suppressor function deplete arginine and constrain T cell function in septic shock patients. Critical Care, 18(4), R163.

  8. Darcy, C.J., Woodberry, T., Davis, J.S., Piera, K.A., McNeil, Y.R., Chen, Y., et al. (2013). Increased plasma arginase activity in human sepsis: association with increased circulating neutrophils. Clinical Chemsitry and Laboratory Medicine52(4), 573-581.

  9. Davis, J.S., Van Hal, S., & Tong, S.Y.C. (2015). Combination antibiotic therapy for serious MRSA infections – review. Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 36(1), 3-16. 

  10. Gear, R.J., Carter, J.C., Carapetis, J.R., Baird, R., & Davis, J.S. (2015). Changes in the clinical and Epidemiological features of Group A Streptococcal bacteraemia in Australia’s Northern Territory. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 20(1), 40-7.

Click here to view more sepsis publications in PubMed.