Host innate immune responses to sepsis

Virulence. 2014 Jan 1;5(1):36-44. doi: 10.4161/viru.25436. Epub 2013 Jun 17.


The immune response to sepsis can be seen as a pattern recognition receptor-mediated dysregulation of the immune system following pathogen invasion in which a careful balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses is vital. Invasive infection triggers both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory host responses, the magnitude of which depends on multiple factors, including pathogen virulence, site of infection, host genetics, and comorbidities. Toll-like receptors, the inflammasomes, and other pattern recognition receptors initiate the immune response after recognition of danger signals derived from microorganisms, so-called pathogen-associated molecular patterns or derived from the host, so-called danger-associated molecular patterns. Further dissection of the role of host-pathogen interactions, the cytokine response, the coagulation cascade, and their multidirectional interactions in sepsis should lead toward the development of new therapeutic strategies in sepsis.

Keywords: activated protein C; coagulation; danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMP); innate immunity; myeloid related protein (Mrp)-8/14; neutrophil extracellular traps (NET); pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP); pattern recognition receptors; protease activated receptors; sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology*
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Toll-Like Receptors