Expression of the cloned toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 gene (tst) in vivo with a rabbit uterine model

Joyce C.S. De Azavedo, Timothy J. Foster, Patrick J. Hartigan, John P. Arbuthnott, Mary O'Reilly, Barry N. Kreiswirth, Richard P. Novick

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70 Scopus citations


Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) toxin 1 (TSST1) is produced by strains of Staphylococcus aureus associated with TSS. Purified TSST1 induces in rabbits a shock-like illness with many features similar to TSS in humans. These symptoms were also induced by TSST1-producing bacteria in diffusion chambers implanted in the rabbit uterus. Naturally occurring TSST1+ strains and a TSST1- strain harboring a pE194-derived plasmid carrying the cloned TSST1 determinant tst gave the same symptoms. TSST1- strains and a TSST1- strain carrying a pE194-tst plasmid with a deletion of the tst gene had no effect in rabbits. The results with the plasmid-carrying TSST1+ and TSST1- strains, which were isogenic apart from tst, show that the toxin is responsible for the illness in rabbits and suggest that it is a major factor in the pathogenesis of TSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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