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Shock. 2005 Oct;24(4):300-12.

Genetic polymorphisms and sepsis.

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Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Sepsis is a polygenic and complex syndrome that is initiated by infection and is characterized by a systemic inflammatory response. Genetic polymorphisms in the immune response to infection have been shown to be associated with clinical outcomes. Functional and association studies involving genetic polymorphisms in essential genes, including Toll-like receptors, cytokines, and coagulation factors, have provided important insights into the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of sepsis-induced organ dysfunction. The advancement of high-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping will provide valuable information on the interaction of multiple allelic variants and clinical outcome. More precise categorization of patients based on genetic background is likely to lead to individualized targeted treatment. Future therapeutic trials as well as actual treatment regimens for patients with sepsis are likely to be designed to target specific genotypes and associated cellular responses, maximizing clinical response and patient safety.

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