Platelet-dense (δ) granules are important for platelet function. Platelets contribute to host defense and vascular integrity during pneumonia and sepsis, and δ granule products, including adenosine diphosphate (ADP), can influence inflammatory responses. We therefore aimed to study the role of platelet δ granules in the host response during sepsis. Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (Hps)3coa mice (with reduced δ granule content), mice treated with the platelet ADP receptor inhibitor clopidogrel, and appropriate control mice were infected with the human sepsis pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae via the airways to induce pneumonia and sepsis. In order to override potential redundancy in platelet functions, we also studied Hps3coa and control mice with moderate antibody-induced thrombocytopenia (10%) prior to infection. We found that sepsis-induced thrombocytopenia tended to be less severe in Hps3coa mice, and was significantly ameliorated in Hps3coa mice with low pre-infection platelet counts. Bacterial growth was similar in Hps3coa and control mice in the presence of normal platelet counts prior to infection, but lower in the lungs of Hps3coa mice with low pre-infection platelet counts. Hps3coa mice had unaltered lung pathology and distant organ injury during pneumosepsis, irrespective of pre-infection platelet counts; lung bleeding did not differ between Hps3coa and control mice. Clopidogrel did not influence any host response parameter. These data suggest that platelet δ granules can play a detrimental role in pneumosepsis by aggravating thrombocytopenia and impairing local antibacterial defense, but that these unfavorable effects only become apparent in the presence of low platelet counts.