Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the host has an uncontrolled or abnormal immune response to overwhelming infection. It is now widely accepted that sepsis occurs in two concurrent phases, which consist of an initial immune activation phase followed by a chronic immunosuppressive phase, leading to immune cell death. Depending on the severity of the disease and the pathogen involved, the hosts immune system may not fully recover, leading to ongoing complications proceeding the initial infection. As such, sepsis remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality world-wide, with treatment options limited to general treatment in intensive care units (ICU). Lack of specific treatments available for sepsis is mostly due to our limited knowledge of the immuno-physiology associated with the disease. This review will provide a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms and cell types involved in eliciting infection-induced immune activation from both the innate and adaptive immune system during sepsis. In addition, the mechanisms leading to immune cell death following hyperactivation of immune cells will be explored. The evaluation and better understanding of the cellular and systemic responses leading to disease onset could eventuate into the development of much needed therapies to combat this unrelenting disease.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited