sTREM-1: A Biomarker of Mortality in Severe Malaria Impacted by Acute Kidney Injury

Ivan Mufumba, Caroline Kazinga, Ruth Namazzi, Robert O. Opoka, Anthony Batte, Caitlin Bond, Chandy C. John, Andrea L. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background. Malaria is an important cause of mortality in African children. Identification of biomarkers to identify children at risk of mortality has the potential to improve outcomes. Methods. We evaluated 11 biomarkers of host response in 592 children with severe malaria. The primary outcome was biomarker performance for predicting mortality. Biomarkers were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis comparing the area under the ROC curve (AUROC). Results. Mortality was 7.3% among children in the study with 72% of deaths occurring within 24 hours of admission. Among the candidate biomarkers, soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1) had the highest AUROC (0.78 [95% confidence interval, .70–.86]), outperforming several other biomarkers including C-reactive protein and procalcitonin. sTREM-1 was the top-performing biomarker across prespecified subgroups (malaria definition, site, sex, nutritional status, age). Using established cutoffs, we evaluated mortality across sTREM-1 risk zones. Among children with acute kidney injury, 39.9% of children with a critical-risk sTREM-1 result had an indication for dialysis. When evaluated relative to a disease severity score, sTREM-1 improved mortality prediction (difference in AUROC, P = .016). Conclusions. sTREM-1 is a promising biomarker to guide rational allocation of clinical resources and should be integrated into clinical decision support algorithms, particularly when acute kidney injury is suspected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-946
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • acute kidney injury
  • mortality
  • risk stratification
  • severe malaria
  • sTREM-1


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