The immunopathology of sepsis and potential therapeutic targets

Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Jul;17(7):407-420. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.36. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


Sepsis is defined as a life-threatening organ dysfunction that is caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. In sepsis, the immune response that is initiated by an invading pathogen fails to return to homeostasis, thus culminating in a pathological syndrome that is characterized by sustained excessive inflammation and immune suppression. Our understanding of the key mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of sepsis has increased tremendously, yet this still needs to be translated into novel targeted therapeutic strategies. Pivotal for the clinical development of new sepsis therapies is the selection of patients on the basis of biomarkers and/or functional defects that provide specific insights into the expression or activity of the therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bacterial Infections / pathology*
  • Epigenomics
  • Humans
  • Microbiota
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / pathology*
  • Transcription, Genetic