Background: Sepsis is characterized by a systemic inflammatory response. Its development and outcome are associated with host defense, pathogenicity of the microorganism and genetic polymorphisms. Genetic polymorphisms of the immune system genes have been shown to have a close relationship with the clinical outcomes of sepsis. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) plays a major role in the host defense against invading pathogens. It is therefore likely that polymorphisms in the ACE gene may have an important effect on determining the development and the outcome of sepsis.