Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Toxic shock-like syndrome is a serious complication of invasive streptococcal disease. The syndrome is believed to be the consequence of exposure to exotoxins produced by the infecting organisms which behave as superantigens. We describe two patients who fulfilled clinical criteria for this syndrome, one of whom died. Streptococci isolated from both patients were found to produce a mitogen specific for the V beta 2+ T lymphocyte subset in vitro, which had the characteristics of a superantigen. The phenotype and function of lymphocytes collected from both patients during the acute phase of their illness demonstrated a marked reduction in circulating CD4+ ('helper') and CD45RA+ ('naive') T lymphocytes expressing the V beta 2 chain, and an increase of those expressing CD8, CD45RO and the V beta 2 chain. This effect resolved within 4 weeks in the patient who survived. Proliferation assays demonstrated no T cell anergy in either patient. Stimulation of lymphocytes by superantigen in these clinical situations does not appear to cause permanent deletion of T cell subsets, as has been observed in animal models.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-2249.1994.tb06620.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clin Exp Immunol

Publication Date

10/1994

Volume

98

Pages

140 - 144

Keywords

CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Fatal Outcome, Female, Humans, Immunophenotyping, Leukocyte Common Antigens, Lymphocyte Activation, Male, Middle Aged, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta, Shock, Septic, Streptococcal Infections, Superantigens, T-Lymphocyte Subsets