In the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers from South Korea describe how their approach — which targets the body’s vascular response as opposed to the infection itself or the body’s inflammation response — stopped mice from succumbing to sepsis.

The treatment uses an unconventional antibody that converts a normally harmful protein into a protective one.

One of the study authors, Dr Seung Jun Lee, a researcher at the Institute for Basic Science in Daejeon, South Korea, says the purpose of the treatment is to “strengthen the blood vessels so the body has a stable environment to fight the infection which also prevents further damage.”