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Multiple Roles of Staphylococcus aureus Enterotoxins: Pathogenicity, Superantigenic Activity, and Correlation to Antibiotic Resistance

Author(s): Elena Ortega | Hikmate Abriouel | Rosario Lucas | Antonio Gálvez

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 2117;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: enterotoxins | Staphylococcus aureus | superantigens | MRSA | immune response

Heat-stable enterotoxins are the most notable virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus, a common pathogen associated with serious community and hospital acquired diseases. Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) cause toxic shock-like syndromes and have been implicated in food poisoning. But SEs also act as superantigens that stimulate T-cell proliferation, and a high correlation between these activities has been detected. Most of the nosocomial S. aureus infections are caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, and those resistant to quinolones or multiresistant to other antibiotics are emerging, leaving a limited choice for their control. This review focuses on these diverse roles of SE, their possible correlations and the influence in disease progression and therapy.
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