Chapter 2 : Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update

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This chapter provides an introduction to bacterial superantigen (SAg) and presents the current understanding of disease association and causation by SAgs, with the intent of identifying needed future research studies of SAgs. Bacterial SAgs include those produced by β-hemolytic streptococci (including ), and , , and certain species of . In the chapter the authors consider only T-cell SAgs; definitions listed may be easily adapted to define B-cell SAgs. The pyrogenic toxin SAgs include the staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs), which are known to cause emesis when administered orally to monkeys, and thus are the causes of staphylococcal food poisoning. Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins (SPEs) (erythrogenic toxins, scarlet fever toxins) now include the classic SPEs A and C, but also serotypes G, H, I, J, K, L, M, streptococcal superantigen (SSA), and streptococcal mitogenic exotoxin Z (SMEZ). The last aspect of the author's presentation of new horizons for SAg research is based on the premise that human diseases caused by SAgs begin with their interaction with epithelial cells. Both group A streptococci and cause infections that begin on skin and mucous membranes and, most of these organisms make SAgs. Clearly, additional studies are necessary to clarify all aspects of the interaction with mucosal and skin surfaces. These studies are likely to more fully define the extent of SAg involvement in human illnesses, and at the same time characterize the mechanism of SAg penetration of these surfaces.

Citation: Schlievert P, Bohach G. 2007. Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update, p 21-36. In Kotb M, Fraser J (ed), Superantigens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815844.ch2
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Table 1.

Clinical definition of toxic shock syndrome

Citation: Schlievert P, Bohach G. 2007. Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update, p 21-36. In Kotb M, Fraser J (ed), Superantigens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815844.ch2
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Table 2.

Defining properties of T-cell SAgs

Citation: Schlievert P, Bohach G. 2007. Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update, p 21-36. In Kotb M, Fraser J (ed), Superantigens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815844.ch2
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Table 3.

Categorization of pyrogenic toxin SAgs

Citation: Schlievert P, Bohach G. 2007. Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update, p 21-36. In Kotb M, Fraser J (ed), Superantigens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815844.ch2
Generic image for table
Table 4.

Human disease causation/association with SAgs

Citation: Schlievert P, Bohach G. 2007. Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens: an Update, p 21-36. In Kotb M, Fraser J (ed), Superantigens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815844.ch2

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