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Superantigens: Molecular Basis for Their Role in Human Diseases

Editors: Malak Kotb, John D. Fraser
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2007

Category: Bacterial Pathogenesis; Immunology

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is the first comprehensive examination of these fascinating proteins ever published. Organized into five sections and sixteen chapters, this volume provides an essential overview of many aspects of superantigen biology. A team of internationally respected researchers covers the basic molecular mechanisms of superantigen action, their structure and function, and their role in human diseases. Additionally, explains the clinical consequences of superantigen intoxication and the latest therapeutic interventions to combat superantigen toxicity.

This volume emphasizes how newly discovered structural variations among superantigens affect their interactions with human immune cells. Most importantly, these structural and functional differences help explain the exacerbation of certain diseases and why certain superantigens are more effective in some tissues and not in others. Furthermore, the book emphasizes how this information can inform new research on the design and development of new intervention strategies to ameliorate superantigen responses in severe acute infections or chronic illnesses. Special attention is paid to the latest findings on staphylococcal, streptococcal, and mycoplasma toxins and their relationship to specific diseases. Finally, the potential for the use of superantigens in bioterrorism is discussed.

As the single most comprehensive volume on the subject, is essential reading for researchers in the fields of microbiology, immunology, biotechnology, molecular medicine, and clinical infectious disease.

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Microbiology Today

15 July 2013

This text is a series of individually authored comprehensive reviews covering both historical aspects and recent developments in the field of superantigens. There is some overlap between the chapters and, as a result, they do not necessarily appear to follow a logical order. Many of the chapters are probably best read in isolation as individual reviews, depending on the interests of the reader. Some of the chapter and section titles are inappropriate, such as 'Superantigens from Gram-negative bacteria and the diseases that they cause', which would be better titled 'Superantigens of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis'. Also, the section on superantigens and human diseases only contains one chapter on skin disease and disappointingly does not include discussion of the potential role of superantigens in chronic rhinosinusitis. There is, however, much useful information presented in the book which provides a good update of this field, particularly for those who may be either starting research in this area or preparing material for Honours level teaching.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Sheila Patrick, University of Belfast

Review Date: Unknown

Doody Enterprises

15 July 2013

At A Glance

Superantigens is the first comprehensive examination of these fascinating proteins ever published. Organized into five sections and sixteen chapters, this volume provides an essential overview of many aspects of superantigen biology. A team of internationally respected researchers covers the basic molecular mechanisms of superantigen action, their structure and function, and their role in human diseases. Additionally, Superantigens explains the clinical consequences of superantigen intoxication and the latest therapeutic interventions to combat superantigen toxicity. This volume emphasizes how newly discovered structural variations among superantigens affect their interactions with human immune cells. Most importantly, these structural and functional differences help explain the exacerbation of certain diseases and why certain superantigens are more effective in some tissues and not in others. Furthermore, the book emphasizes how this information can inform new research on the design and development of new intervention strategies to ameliorate superantigen responses in severe acute infections or chronic illnesses. Special attention is paid to the latest findings on staphylococcal, streptococcal, and mycoplasma toxins and their relationship to specific diseases. Finally, the potential for the use of superantigens in bioterrorism is discussed. As the single most comprehensive volume on the subject, Superantigens is essential reading for researchers in the fields of microbiology, immunology, biotechnology, molecular medicine, and clinical infectious disease. Key Features and Benefits * Offers the first detailed overview of the molecular aspects of superantigens and structure-function relationships * Presents an update on the action of the viral superantigen and the mycoplasma superantigen * Features experimental models of superantigen-based diseases * Highlights exciting developments in the design of drugs to treat superantigens.

Description

This unique book focuses on the wide range of molecules with superantigen activity, describing molecular details of the superantigen molecules made by bacteria and the manner in which these proteins cause a pathogenic reaction in host animals.

Purpose

According to the editors, this book is intended to describe how the "structural variations among superantigens affect...(how) they interact with immune cells." The goal of this book is to leave readers with an enhanced appreciation of how these antigens cause disease. After finding it hard to put down after reading several chapters, I believe the editors have accomplished this goal.

Audience

The presentation of data in this book is appropriate for scientists working with pathogens that make superantigens. It would also be a good book for scientists interested in new therapies and delivery methods. The authors are from a variety of backgrounds and have extensive experience with these molecules.

Features

The first section covers the various molecular structures of superantigen proteins, detailing the genetics of these proteins and antigenic differences between them. An interesting table contains the measurement of the ability of each toxin to activate human T cells. Other chapters show the diversity of the molecular structures of these toxins as well as the diverse types of bacteria that produce them. Subsequent sections discuss the diseases associated with toxin exposure, including skin diseases and the potential role in autoimmune disease. The later chapters focus on therapeutic interventions that are being tested to prevent the serious effects of superantigen activation. The book also uses well designed pictures of the molecular structures of super antigen proteins. These diagrams and models are essential to understanding the activity of these proteins. This is a very unique presentation of a disease process that has plagued mankind for centuries.

Assessment

This is a fascinating book for anyone involved in the study of infectious disease. I found it hard to put down and it inspired me to look up some of the references for details on the experiments. It highlights a new understanding of superantigens and their role in pathogenesis.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Rebecca Horvat, PhD, D(ABMM) (University of Kansas Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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