Autoimmunity Increases Susceptibility to and Mortality from Sepsis

Immunohorizons. 2021 Oct 26;5(10):844-854. doi: 10.4049/immunohorizons.2100070.


We recently demonstrated how sepsis influences the subsequent development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) presented a conceptual advance in understanding the postsepsis chronic immunoparalysis state. However, the reverse scenario (autoimmunity prior to sepsis) defines a high-risk patient population whose susceptibility to sepsis remains poorly defined. In this study, we present a retrospective analysis of University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics patients demonstrating increased sepsis prevalence among multiple sclerosis (MS), relative to non-MS, patients. To interrogate how autoimmune disease influences host susceptibility to sepsis, well-established murine models of MS and sepsis and EAE and cecal ligation and puncture, respectively, were used. EAE, relative to non-EAE, mice were highly susceptible to sepsis-induced mortality with elevated cytokine storms. These results were further recapitulated in LPS and Streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis models. This work highlights both the relevance of identifying highly susceptible patient populations and expands the growing body of literature that host immune status at the time of septic insult is a potent mortality determinant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Disease Susceptibility / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / complications*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / mortality
  • Pneumococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology
  • Young Adult