Causative Agent

Staphylococcal toxic shock is caused by strains of Staphylococcus aureus that produce one or more of a particular kind of exotoxin. The involved toxins are all superantigens. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) accounts for about 75% of the cases; the remainder are due to staphylococcal exotoxins called enterotox-ins because they cause gastrointestinal symptoms when ingested.

Staphylococcus aureus, p. 537 ■ exotoxins, p. 472 ■ superantigens, p. 474 ■ staphylococcal enterotoxins, p. 475

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