Welcome to the Food Borne Disease Site. The sources of the foodborne illness pathogens are ubiquitous. Food and food products will always be contaminated with low levels of pathogens. At low levels, pathogenic microorganisms cause no problems. At illness thresholds, however, they can make people ill and cause death.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Staphylococcal enterotoxins

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a Gram-positive bacterium that is carried by about one third of the general population and is responsible for common and serious diseases. It is a major human pathogen responsible for a wide range of infections, including skin and soft tissue infections, bacteremia, pneumonia, and several toxin-mediated diseases.

Staphylococcal food poisoning is an intoxication that results from the consumption of foods containing sufficient amounts of one (or more) preformed enterotoxin. Staphylococcal enterotoxins are a good example of superantigens and are the commonest cause of food poisoning. These small secreted proteins combine superantigenic and emetic activities. They are resistant to environmental conditions that easily destroy the enterotoxin-producing strain.

Staphylococcal enterotoxins are members of a family of more than 20 different staphylococcal and streptococcal exotoxins that are functionally related and share sequence homology. The S. aureus enterotoxins are potent gastrointestinal exotoxins synthesized by S. aureus throughout the logarithmic phase of growth or during the transition from the exponential to the stationary phase

These bacterial proteins are known to be pyrogenic and are connected to significant human diseases that include food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.

Staphylococcal enterotoxin B is one of the most potent bacterial superantigens that exerts profound toxic effects upon the immune system. It is associated with food poisoning, nonmenstrual toxic shock, atopic dermatitis, asthma, and nasal polyps in humans. Typically, food

poisoning due to Staphylococcal enterotoxin B occurs in clusters because of a common food source (in settings such as a church picnic, eating contaminated food). Staphylococcal enterotoxin B has also been produced by some countries as a biological weapon. This toxin can disable people who are exposed to it for several weeks, but it is rarely deadly.

Symptoms of Staphylococcal food poisoning have a rapid onset (2–8 h), and include nausea, violent vomiting, abdominal cramping, with or without diarrhea. The disease is usually self-limiting and typically resolves within 24–48 h after onset.
Staphylococcal enterotoxins

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