Special Focus Issue on Sepsis

A special issue on sepsis has been released by the publisher of the journal Virulence, Landes Bioscience based in Austin, Texas. The articles were written by world-class investigators and provide new insights into both the pathogen-related factors and the host defense mechanisms that lead to septic shock and contribute either to its resolution or fatal outcome.

A release from the publisher notes that sepsis, or septic shock, is an excessive inflammatory response in answer to a serious infection, most commonly by bacteria, but also fungi, viruses, and parasites. Different microbial components, such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide, endotoxins, or exotoxins can cause the typical septic inflammatory cascade. The condition can continue even after the infection that caused it is gone. It is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Characteristics of sepsis are massive release of proinflammatory cytokines resulting in tissue damage, an uncontrolled reduction in blood-pressure, multiple organ failure, and death. Sepsis can originate anywhere microbes can gain entry to the body. Common sites include the genitourinary tract, the liver and its bile ducts, the gastrointestinal tract, and the lungs. The condition is often life-threatening, especially in people with a weakened immune system or other medical issues.