The changing immune system in sepsis is individualized immuno-modulatory therapy the answer?

Jonathan S. Boomer, Jonathan M. Green, Richard S. Hotchkiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Sepsis remains the leading cause of death in most intensive care units. Advances in understanding the immune response to sepsis provide the opportunity to develop more effective therapies. The immune response in sepsis can be characterized by a cytokine-mediated hyper-inflammatory phase, which most patients survive, and a subsequent immune-suppressive phase. Patients fail to eradicate invading pathogens and are susceptible to opportunistic organisms in the hypo-inflammatory phase. Many mechanisms are responsible for sepsisinduced immuno-suppression, including apoptotic depletion of immune cells, increased T regulatory and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and cellular exhaustion. Currently in clinical trial for sepsis are granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor and interferon gamma, immune-therapeutic agents that boost patient immunity. Immuno-adjuvants with promise in clinically-relevant animal models of sepsis include anti-programmed cell death-1 and interleukin-7. The future of immune-therapy in sepsis will necessitate identification of the immunologic phase using clinical and laboratory parameters as well as biomarkers of innate and adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Adaptive immunity
  • Cell exhaustion
  • Immune suppression
  • Immune therapy
  • Sepsis


Dive into the research topics of 'The changing immune system in sepsis is individualized immuno-modulatory therapy the answer?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this