Genetics of Sepsis Various Responses

Published by Alicia Ferguson on

Genetics of Sepsis Various Responses
What are Hyper-inflammatory and Hypo-inflammatory Septic Responses? 

Sepsis is a serious condition that happens when a person’s immune system does not work as it should when facing an infection. There are two types of sepsis responses: hyper-inflammatory and hypo-inflammatory. In hyper-inflammatory sepsis, the immune system responds too much and causes excessive inflammation. In hypo-inflammatory sepsis, the immune system does not respond enough and can allow the infection to become more severe. Both of these responses can be dangerous and make a person very sick.


Overall Sepsis Symptoms:

  • Chills or shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue


Hyper-inflammatory Sepsis Response: 

  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Redness or swelling at the site of infection


Hypo-inflammatory Sepsis Response:

  • Low-grade fever or no fever
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Pale or cool skin


Why the immune system responds in these ways is not entirely understood. It may be related to genetics and other health conditions. To treat sepsis and its varied responses, a hospital visit is required, and a number of medications are used to help. 

How is the research done? 

Vanderbilt researchers want to understand more about how our genes affect the way our body responds to infections. The study looks at genetic traits that are linked to hyper-inflammatory and hypo-inflammatory sepsis responses to help uncover why some people react differently to infections. Additional factors, such as age, sex, and race, will also be considered to help find connections to hyper-inflammatory and hypo-inflammatory sepsis response. 

What is the importance of this study? 

Sepsis is a serious condition that could lead to long periods in the hospital and  even death in some serious cases. It is important to get treatment for infections right away to prevent sepsis and other harmful reactions. Scientists are researching different types of sepsis responses to help doctors find better treatments that work for different people.