Acute severe inflammatory disorders caused by a dysregulated immune system may rapidly affect the whole body. They may be caused by infections with bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, then called sepsis, or by non-infectious triggers such as complications during surgery, trauma, burns, pancreatitis, ischemia, anaphylaxis, hemorrhage, medication overdose and others. The patient's immune response becomes dysfunctional which seizes the entire body and may rapidly lead to a fatal outcome.
Currently, expensive palliative and supportive treatment in intensive care units (ICU) and emergency room settings is standard. This includes mechanical ventilation, dialysis, stabilization of the cardiovascular system and broad-spectrum antimicrobial intervention with the serious issues of already pre-existing antibiotic resistance as well as its promotion. Moreover, antibiotics are futile in non-bacterial sepsis and in non-infectious acute systemic inflammations.
Treatment of these severe medical indications clearly requires major improvements. For example, sepsis still comes with a very high mortality rate of up to 80%. Moreover, up to 50% of sepsis survivors suffer from the burdensome post-sepsis syndrome which comprises hallucinations, panic attacks, disabling muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue, decreased mental function as well as loss of self-belief.