Antibodies present in the white blood cells of sepsis patients may often block programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and programmed cell death ligand (PD-L1) molecules. This could hold a key to restore the functions of white blood cells and eradicate bacteria.
The research findings were published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
"We hope that this study will lead to a better understanding of why patients with sepsis are often unable to successfully eradicate invading microorganisms," said author Andriani C. Patera, Ph.D. "Furthermore, we hope that this study will stimulate new therapies to treat sepsis based on stimulating various components of the immune system."
"There is increasing evidence for immune dysfunction in sepsis. Immune dysfunction is now therapeutically correctable by targeting PD-1 in chronic diseases such as cancer and chronic infections," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "These new data highlight the potential opportunity to treat a devastating acute and rapidly progressing inflammatory disease with an approach learned and tested in humans in immune oncology."