Respiratory viral sepsis: epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment

Xiaoying Gu, Fei Zhou, Yeming Wang, Guohui Fan, Bin Cao
European Respiratory Review: An Official Journal of the European Respiratory Society 2020 September 30, 29 (157)
According to the Third International Consensus Definition for Sepsis and Septic Shock, sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction resulting from dysregulated host responses to infection. Epidemiological data about sepsis from the 2017 Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factor Study showed that the global burden of sepsis was greater than previously estimated. Bacteria have been shown to be the predominant pathogen of sepsis among patients with pathogens detected, while sepsis caused by viruses is underdiagnosed worldwide. The coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019 in China and now in many other countries has brought viral sepsis back into the vision of physicians and researchers worldwide. Although the current understanding of the pathophysiology of sepsis has improved, the differences between viral and bacterial sepsis at the level of pathophysiology are not well understood. Diagnosis methods that can broadly differentiate between bacterial and viral sepsis at the initial stage after the development of sepsis are limited. New treatments that can be applied at clinics for sepsis are scarce and this situation is not consistent with the growing understanding of pathophysiology. This review aims to give a brief summary of current knowledge of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of viral sepsis.

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