The invention relates to a method for identifying a subset of polynucleotides from an initial set of polynucleotides corresponding to the human genome for the in vitro determination, in a sample, of the severity of the host response of a patient in an acute infectious and/or acute inflammatory state, wherein a measuring device is used, which has a plurality of different gene probes, which represent substantially the entire human genome, wherein the test subjects are classified into at least two of the clinically determined phenotype groups according to the infection status and/or inflammation status of the test subjects, the changes of the gene expression signals between the phenotype groups are statistically compared, and gene probes whose gene expression signals are changed between at least two phenotype groups in a statistically significant manner are selected. A master score is determined therefrom as a measure of the severity of the host response, and a number of polynucleotides considerably reduced compared to the initial set is identified by determining a score that does not exceed a specified deviation from the master score. Said score can be used to diagnose, predict the development of, or monitor an acute infectious and/or inflammatory state of a patient and/or to monitor the course of therapy and/or for focus monitoring.


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