Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen exotoxins

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2013 Jul;26(3):422-47. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00104-12.


SUMMARY This review begins with a discussion of the large family of Staphylococcus aureus and beta-hemolytic streptococcal pyrogenic toxin T lymphocyte superantigens from structural and immunobiological perspectives. With this as background, the review then discusses the major known and possible human disease associations with superantigens, including associations with toxic shock syndromes, atopic dermatitis, pneumonia, infective endocarditis, and autoimmune sequelae to streptococcal illnesses. Finally, the review addresses current and possible novel strategies to prevent superantigen production and passive and active immunization strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Exotoxins / chemistry
  • Exotoxins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / immunology*
  • Superantigens / chemistry
  • Superantigens / immunology*


  • Exotoxins
  • Superantigens