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Neisseria meningitidis-induced sepsis

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Eva Särndahl

Research subject

Research environments

The aim of this study is to understand the virulence factors behind inflammasome activation, and to get knowledge on the inflammasome-mediated host response mechanisms upon N. meningitidis infection.

 N. meningitidis is a common Gram-negative bacterium localized to the upper respiratory tract but also a major causative agent of sepsis and bacterial meningitis worldwide. The asymptomatic carriers, estimated to be between 5-15 % of the population, are the reservoir for this obligate human pathogen. Due to fast progression of the disease, a meningococcal infection can be fatal within the first 24 hours following dissemination of the bacteria and the death rate of meningococcal disease ranges from 5% in the case of meningitis; up to 40 % in the case of sepsis/septic shock.

  • The dramatic onset of meningococcal disease has been suggested to be mainly due to extensive release of endotoxin (lipooligosaccharide, LOS) from the outer membrane the bacterium by triggering host-mediated production of pro-inflammatory cytokine, such as IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF, and our preliminary data suggest that LOS is of crucial importance for caspase-1 activation in neutrophils.


  • Anne Kelly, KS
  • Ebba Abate, Gondar University, Etiopien
  • Hans Fredlund, Region Örebro län