21 September 2018
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection and a major public health concern, particularly for the very young and very old. Around the world, sepsis kills more people than AIDS, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. The mortality rate can be as high as 50%, and those who survive are often left with long-term consequences that may include physical and psychological disabilities.
Sepsis becomes fatal as a consequence of multiple organ failure caused by an overwhelming cascade of inflammatory mediators released into the bloodstream. But exactly how this response to infection is regulated, and whether it is in fact a regulated response, remains uncertain. Some authors have suggested that the body goes through different immune states while fighting sepsis, starting by activation of immunity and then reaching immune paralysis or exhaustion. Current treatments have shown limited efficacy and patient outcome is in most cases unpredictable. [Read more…]