Bacterial virulence factors , such as glycocalyx and various adhesins , allow colonization, immune evasion, and establishment of disease in the host.  Sepsis caused by gram-negative bacteria is thought to be largely due to a response by the host to the lipid A component of lipopolysaccharide , also called endotoxin .   Sepsis caused by gram-positive bacteria may result from an immunological response to cell wall lipoteichoic acid .  Bacterial exotoxins that act as superantigens also may cause sepsis.  Superantigens simultaneously bind major histocompatibility complex and T-cell receptors in the absence of antigen presentation . This forced receptor interaction induces the production of pro-inflammatory chemical signals ( cytokines ) by T-cells.