Next Article in Journal
Characterization of SNARE Cleavage Products Generated by Formulated Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A Drug Products
Next Article in Special Issue
Cure and Curse: E. coli Heat-Stable Enterotoxin and Its Receptor Guanylyl Cyclase C
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Different Types of Cell Death Induced by Enterotoxins
Toxins 2010, 2(8), 2177-2197; doi:10.3390/toxins2082177

Staphylococcal Enterotoxins

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0655, USA 2 Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA 3 Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0366, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2010 / Revised: 9 August 2010 / Accepted: 12 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterotoxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [577 KB, uploaded 18 August 2010]   |  


Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a Gram positive bacterium that is carried by about one third of the general population and is responsible for common and serious diseases. These diseases include food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome, which are caused by exotoxins produced by S. aureus. Of the more than 20 Staphylococcal enterotoxins, SEA and SEB are the best characterized and are also regarded as superantigens because of their ability to bind to class II MHC molecules on antigen presenting cells and stimulate large populations of T cells that share variable regions on the b chain of the T cell receptor. The result of this massive T cell activation is a cytokine bolus leading to an acute toxic shock. These proteins are highly resistant to denaturation, which allows them to remain intact in contaminated food and trigger disease outbreaks. A recognized problem is the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of S. aureus and these are a concern in the clinical setting as they are a common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in hospitalized patients. In this review, we provide an overview of the current understanding of these proteins.
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxins; superantigens; class II MHC; food-borne poisoning Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxins; superantigens; class II MHC; food-borne poisoning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Pinchuk, I.V.; Beswick, E.J.; Reyes, V.E. Staphylococcal Enterotoxins. Toxins 2010, 2, 2177-2197.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert