Hormesis and Defense of Infectious Disease.
Infectious diseases are a global health burden and remain associated with high social and economic impact. Treatment of affected patients largely relies on antimicrobial agents that act by directly targeting microbial replication. Despite the utility of host specific therapies having been assessed in previous clinical trials, such as targeting the immune response via modulating the cytokine release in sepsis, results have largely been frustrating and did not lead to the introduction of new therapeutic tools. In this article, we will discuss current evidence arguing that, by applying the concept of hormesis, already approved pharmacological agents could be used therapeutically to increase survival of patients with infectious disease via improving disease tolerance, a defense mechanism that decreases the extent of infection-associated tissue damage without directly targeting pathogenic microorganisms.