Development of Serum Antibody to Toxic Shock Toxin Among Individuals With Toxic Shock Syndrome in Wisconsin

J Infect Dis. 1985 May;151(5):883-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/151.5.883.


The presence of Staphylococcus aureus producing toxic shock toxin (TST) and the absence of antibody to TST (anti-TST) in acute-phase sera are markers for toxic shock syndrome (TSS). We used radioimmunoassay methods to examine 133 acute-phase and 277 convalescent-phase serum specimens from 181 patients with TSS for anti-TST. Among confirmed menstrual cases, nine (9.5%) of 95 patients had demonstrable anti-TST in acute-phase sera obtained during the first seven days of illness; patients with probable or non-menstrual TSS had a higher prevalence of anti-TST in acute-phase sera. Five (33.3%) of 15 individuals with confirmed menstrual TSS developed anti-TST as early as seven to nine days after TSS onset; 32 (62.7%) of 51 patients had demonstrable anti-TST in sera obtained more than one year after their episode of TSS. This study demonstrates a gradual rate and low magnitude of development of anti-TST after TSS and supports the diagnostic usefulness of measuring anti-TST levels in sera from patients suspected of having TSS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Bacterial Toxins*
  • Convalescence
  • Enterotoxins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Menstruation
  • Shock, Septic / drug therapy
  • Shock, Septic / immunology*
  • Shock, Septic / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology
  • Superantigens*
  • Wisconsin


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Enterotoxins
  • Superantigens
  • enterotoxin F, Staphylococcal