Cytokine storms: Systemic disasters of infectious diseases

Allison Nazinitsky, Kenneth S. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The flood of cytokine production that occurs in response to certain infections is termed cytokine storm. Like the normal responses to a local infection, a cytokine storm is initiated not only by macrophages, dendritic cell and T-cell responses to pathogen-associated molecular patterns in bacterial and fungal cell walls, and microbial DNA and RNA but also by superantigen toxins and systemic spread of microbes. Excessive production of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1, and other cytokines at the infection site or during sepsis can overpower the natural regulators and cause systemic disruption of physiologic function, shock, and possibly death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalInfectious Diseases in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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