Mechanisms of Pathogenesis of Staphylococcal and Streptococcal Superantigens

  • J. V. Rago
  • P. M. Schlievert
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 225)


In order to infect a host successfully, to access nutrients, and to promote the progression of disease, many pathogenic bacteria, such as the staphylococci and streptococci, produce exoproteins which enhance microbial virulence. Among these proteins is the family of toxins known today as the superantigens (SAg). This family includes the pyrogenic toxin SAg (PTSAg), such as the staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE, serotypes A-E, G, H), group A streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins (SPE, serotypes A-C and possibly F), streptococcal SAg (SSA), and staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST)-1. The following is a review of the biochemistry, structure, and mechanisms of pathogenicity of the PTSAg and the shared and unique properties of each. The properties of other relevant superantigenic proteins such as the staphylococcal exfoliative toxins (ETA, ETB) will also be discussed.


Toxic Shock Syndrome Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin Exfoliative Toxin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. V. Rago
    • 1
  • P. M. Schlievert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

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