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Sepsis is expected to have a substantial impact on public health and cost as its prevalence increases. Factors contributing to increased prevalence include a progressively aging population, advances in the use of immunomodulatory agents to treat a rising number of diseases, and immune-suppressing therapies in organ transplant recipients and cancer patients. It is now recognized that sepsis is associated with profound and sustained immunosuppression, which has been implicated as a predisposing factor in the increased susceptibility of patients to secondary infections and mortality. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of sepsis-induced immunosuppression and biomarkers that identify a state of impaired immunity. We also highlight immune-enhancing strategies that have been evaluated in patients with sepsis, as well as therapeutics under current investigation. Finally, we describe future challenges and the need for a new treatment paradigm, integrating predictive enrichment with patient factors that may guide the future selection of tailored immunotherapy.


Lisa K Torres, Peter Pickkers, Tom van der Poll. Sepsis-Induced Immunosuppression. Annual review of physiology. 2022 Feb 10;84:157-181

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PMID: 34705481

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