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Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Apr;28(4):800-7.

Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy for streptococcal toxic shock syndrome--a comparative observational study. The Canadian Streptococcal Study Group.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret Hospitals, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Twenty-one consecutive patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (TSS) between December 1994 and April 1995 were treated with a median dose of 2 g of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)/kg (cases) and were compared with 32 patients with streptococcal TSS between 1992 and 1995 who did not receive IVIG therapy (controls). The outcome measure was 30-day survival. Patient plasma was tested for its ability to inhibit T cell activation induced by the infecting strain. The proportion of cases with 30-day survival was higher than that of the controls with 30-day survival (67% vs. 34%, respectively; P = .02). Multivariate analysis revealed that IVIG administration and a lower Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score were associated with survival; the odds ratio for survival associated with IVIG therapy was 8.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.6-45; P = .009). IVIG therapy enhanced the ability of patient plasma to neutralize bacterial mitogenicity and reduced T cell production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. IVIG may be an effective adjunctive therapy for streptococcal TSS, possibly because of its ability to neutralize bacterial exotoxins.

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