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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2002 May;2(3):252-8.

Staphylococcus aureus superantigens and airway disease.

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Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000, Belgium.


Twenty-five percent of the population are permanent carriers of Staphylococcus aureus, possibly producing a variety of toxins with superantigenic properties. Staphylococcal superantigens are a group of high- molecular-weight pyrogenic proteins that have in common an extremely potent stimulatory activity for T-lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, eosinophils, and epithelial cells. The role of staphylococcal superantigens in atopic dermatitis has recently been recognized, and new evidence suggests that similar mechanisms may also be relevant in airway disease. This circumstantial evidence is currently limited to rhinitis, sinusitis, and possibly asthma, but may, if supported, open a new understanding of pathomechanisms and therapeutic targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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