Sepsis is caused by an inappropriate activation of the immune system in response to microbes. This leads to organ failure and in the worst cases septic shock, with 40-70 % mortality. We want to develop sepsis treatment by targeting bacterial products with specific drugs and by dialysis adsorbing the products.
In the lab we study inflammatory responses to proteins from streptococci in immune cells and blood vessels. We identify the involved receptors with blockers, knock-out mice and recombinant cells. In a clinical study we compare dialysis using an endotoxin adsorbing filter with standard filter in sepsis patients.
Why is this important? We have found that some streptococcal proteins activate innate immunity and affect blood vessels similar to during sepsis. Using blockers against the receptors involved we may modify the inflammation and restore the circulation in the patients. An endotoxin adsorbing dialysis filter is commercially available (oXiris) but clinical effects are unknown.