Equine neonatal sepsis: The pathophysiology of severe inflammation and infection.
Although the clinical syndrome of sepsis is a major problem in equine neonates, the pathophysiology of this condition remains incomplete. Because the term sepsis describes a broad range of disorders with different underlying causes and often different prognoses, the understanding of this process is further complicated. Continued progress is being made, how- ever, in defining the syndromes associated with sepsis and in elucidating the mechanisms in- volved in these processes. Attempts at modulating the septic process by interfering with the action of bacterial toxins or the production or activity of individual mediators have not been successful, thereby reinforcing that this is a multifactorial response. Fortunately, the complex interactions of intra- and extracellular messengers leading to clinical sepsis continue to be defined. An increased understanding of the processes involved in the septic response may aid in the identification of patients with these syndromes as well as improve the effectiveness of treatment regimens.