Study Regarding The Effect Of Severe Sepsis On The Immune System
A study that was published in the December 21 issue of JAMA about the effect of severe sepsis on the immune system; analysis of lung and spleen tissue from patients who have recently died of sepsis revealed findings which were similar to biochemical, cellular and histological findings of people who were immune suppressed.
Severe sepsis is considered responsible for more than 225,000 deaths in the United States alone. The need to develop new techniques to reduce the incidence of sepsis has been the challenge of many pharmaceutical companies and more than 25 unsuccessful drug trials to date.
Patients with sepsis are seen to have an initial intense inflammatory response with symptoms like fever, shock and the development of an altered mental status. Whether the development of severe immune suppression follows this severe inflammatory state, patients are dying at an alarming rate; the need to have a technique to prevent sepsis is likely the best preventive treatment of all.
The study, which was led by Jonathan S. Boomer, Ph.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis, assessed the evidence of immune suppression in sepsis and to determine the possible reasons for this impairment in a patient’s immune status. Patients who were part of the study had died of sepsis and had biochemical and immunohistochemical findings that were consistent with patients suffering from immunosuppression as compared to patients who died of a non sepsis cause. The study also presented possible implications, whether sepsis have been directed at blocking inflammation as well as immune activation. Therapies if applied early may be successful but when applied later on in the immunesuppressive state can be harmful. It is therefore important to find a more strategized therapy as well as to accurately determine the immune status of an individual during an illness.
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