Erythrogenic toxin

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An erythrogenic toxin is a toxin produced by strains of Streptococcus pyogenes, the primary cause of scarlet fever.[1][2] Erythrogenic toxin is known to damage the plasma membranes of blood capillaries under the skin and produce a red skin rash (characteristic of scarlet fever).[3] Past studies have shown that multiple variants of erythrogenic toxins may be produced, depending on the strain of S. pyogenes present in the host. A small percentage of strains may not produce a detectable toxin at all.[4] Bacteriophage T12 infection of Streptococcus pyogenes enables the production of erythrogenic toxin A, and increases virulence.[5] The erythrogenic toxin is also referred to in the literature as Streptococcal Pyogenic Exotoxin types A, B, and C (SPE-A, SPE-B, SPE-C).[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Erythrogenic toxin". Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Causes". Scarlet fever. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Tortora, Gerard; Funke, Berdell; Case, Christine (2013). Microbiology (11th ed.). Pearson. p. 439. 
  4. ^ Knöll; Srámek, Vrbová, Gerlach, Reichardt, Köhler (December 1991). "Scarlet fever and types of erythrogenic toxins produced by the infecting streptococcal strains". Zentralbl Bakteriol 276 (1): 94–106. doi:10.1016/s0934-8840(11)80223-9. PMID 1789905. 
  5. ^ McShan, WM; Tang, YF; Ferretti, JJ (1997). "Bacteriophage T12 of Streptococcus pyogenes integrates into the gene encoding a serine tRNA". Molecular Microbiology 23 (4): 719–28. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.1997.2591616.x. PMID 9157243. 
  6. ^ Schlievert, PM; Gray, ED (June 1989). "Group A streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin (scarlet fever toxin) type A and blastogen A are the same protein.". Infection and immunity 57 (6): 1865–7. PMC 313370. PMID 2498210. 
  7. ^ Schlievert, PM (1989). "Role of toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 in toxic shock syndrome: overview.". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 11 Suppl 1: S107–9. doi:10.1093/clinids/11.supplement_1.s107. PMID 2648535. 
  8. ^ Schlievert, Patrick M (1989). "Analysis of Toxic Shock Syndrome Isolates Producing Staphylococcal Enterotoxins B and Cl with Use of Southern Hybridization and Immunologic Assays". Journal of Infectious Diseases 11: S75–S82. doi:10.1093/clinids/11.Supplement_1.S75.