Sepsis and its clinical treatment

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Sepsis is a clinical disorder caused by excessive activity of innate immune system. Clinical sepsis is characterized by hypotension, acidosis, inability to react to pressor agents, activation of complements and finally death. Experimental evidences prove the involvement of TNFα, NO, macrophages and LPS. Many attempts were made to study the underlying pathology and discover appropriate therapy but all the investigations were in vain. New therapeutic approaches are being employed to investigate appropriate therapy.



Sepsis is caused due to bacterial infection of sterile parts. The bacterial infection leads to severe sepsis when one of the organs gets dysfunctional. Severe sepsis leads to shock when it is accompanied by severe hypotension (Lever and Mackenzie, 2007).

Sepsis causes infection to mucous membranes lining the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory, urinary tract and eye (Lever and Mackenzie, 2007). Infection later results in inflammation of body parts with visible, external symptoms.


Microbial invasion causes stimulation of CD4 T cells to produce cytokines (e.g.| Interferon γ) in the body which in turn activates dendritic cells and macrophages. CD4 T cells also secrete interleukin-12 which is inflammatory in nature and secretes type I helper cell cytokines (Lever and Mackenzie, 2007). TNF-α levels also increase in the body and causes severe inflammation as in case of meningococcemia, a form of sepsis (Richard and Irene, 2003). In later stages of sepsis, immunosuppression is noticed releasing smaller quantities of cytokines (Lederer et al., 1999; Oberholzer et al., 2001; Ertel et al., 1995). Calcium dependent NO synthase releases nitric oxide which causes dilatation of blood vessels.

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Diagram depicting the pathphysiological pathway is shown in figure 1.

Treatments available:

Sepsis develops many inflammatory symptoms and any treatment strategy should focus many of the symptoms. Single therapeutical approach has not proved effective treatment. Some of the means of treatment include use of hydrocortisone, biomedical modification of protein kinase C and Corticosteroids. These treatments are associated with many drawbacks and have not proved to improve patient health (Charles et al., 2008).

Sepsis cannot be pertained to over activity of the immune system. It also suggests the malfunctioning of body’s immune system. In the future therapy ...

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