The role of bacterial toxins in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Int J Med Microbiol. 2002 Feb;291(6-7):561-70. doi: 10.1078/1438-4221-00168.


There is increasing evidence for the involvement of bacterial toxins in some cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), particularly the pyrogenic toxins of Staphylococcus aureus. This had led to the hypothesis that some SIDS deaths are due to induction of inflammatory mediators by infectious agents or their products during a period in which the infant is unable to control these normally protective responses. The genetic, developmental and environmental risk factors identified for SIDS are assessed in relation to frequency or density of mucosal colonisation by toxigenic bacteria and their effects on induction and control of inflammatory responses to the toxins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / complications*
  • Bacterial Toxins*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Staphylococcal Infections / complications
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*


  • Bacterial Toxins