Gene discovery could lead to new sepsis treatments: 3 things to know

Researchers from Australian National University in Canberra and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Darlinghurst, Australia, have identified a gene that triggers the inflammatory conditions that result in sepsis.

Here are three things to know about the finding.

• Prior to this discovery, researchers were aware sepsis occurred when molecules on the surface of certain bacteria infiltrated cells. This would result in an immune response that causes the cells to "self-destruct."
• The newly identified gene, Gasdermin-D, is what they now believe deploys a protein that triggers cell death in the instance of bacterial invasion.
• In addition to enabling a better understanding of inflammatory diseases beyond sepsis, the researchers said the finding could potentially enable them to identify a mechanism to shut down sepsis before it becomes life-threatening.

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