The focus of the Hotchkiss Lab is defining new methods for the treatment of sepsis, a highly lethal disorder which occurs during severe overwhelming infection.  Sepsis is the host response that occurs due to the presence of bacteria and/or their products within the bloodstream.  The host response to sepsis can be manifested in a number of ways, including increased or decreased body temperature, increased heart rate, elevated white blood cell count, rapid respiratory rate, altered mental status, shock, and multiple organ dysfunction.  Patients with a severe life-threatening form of sepsis in which there is evidence of inadequate organ perfusion (for example, shock, decreased renal function, depressed mental state, etc.) are stated to be in septic shock.