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The Systemic and Pulmonary Immune Response to Staphylococcal Enterotoxins

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Author(s): Sanjeev Kumar | Antoine Ménoret | Soo-Mun Ngoi | Anthony T. Vella

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 1898;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: superantigen | T cells | staphylococcal enterotoxins

ABSTRACT
In response to environmental cues the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus synthesizes and releases proteinaceous enterotoxins. These enterotoxins are natural etiologic entities of severe food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, and acute diseases. Staphylococcal enterotoxins are currently listed as Category B Bioterrorism Agents by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They are associated with respiratory illnesses, and may contribute to exacerbation of pulmonary disease. This likely stems from the ability of Staphylococcal enterotoxins to elicit powerful episodes of T cell stimulation resulting in release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here, we discuss the role of the immune system and potential mechanisms of disease initiation and progression.
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