A research team led by Professor Tsukuba of the University of Tsukuba discovered that there is an immune receptor MAIR-1 on the surface of an immune cell called mast cells. If there are cells that die due to bacterial infection, the protein can quickly perceive the appearance of dead cells, thereby reducing the substances that attract white blood cells, so that white blood cells cannot concentrate on the infected parts to eliminate the bacteria. In the blood, white blood cells cannot concentrate on eliminating germs, which can cause sepsis.
In this experiment, the researchers allowed 15 mice to be infected with peritonitis, and within 100 hours, they all died of sepsis. However, if genetic manipulation is performed to prevent MAIR-1 from forming in the body, 40% of the experimental mice survived in the same experiment. This confirmed that this protein promotes the onset of sepsis.
Sepsis refers to bacteria entering the blood circulation, where they grow and produce toxins, causing serious systemic infections. Sepsis is often accompanied by pneumonia, peritonitis, and post-operative infections. Once critical organs such as the lungs are affected, patients are at risk. Every year, 1 million people worldwide die from sepsis.