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Clin Dev Immunol. 2013;2013:608456. doi: 10.1155/2013/608456. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Role of pore-forming toxins in neonatal sepsis.

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  • 1Center of Chronic Immunodeficiency, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Breisacher Straße 117, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. andreas.sonnen@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Abstract

Protein toxins are important virulence factors contributing to neonatal sepsis. The major pathogens of neonatal sepsis, group B Streptococci, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus, secrete toxins of different molecular nature, which are key for defining the disease. Amongst these toxins are pore-forming exotoxins that are expressed as soluble monomers prior to engagement of the target cell membrane with subsequent formation of an aqueous membrane pore. Membrane pore formation is not only a means for immediate lysis of the targeted cell but also a general mechanism that contributes to penetration of epithelial barriers and evasion of the immune system, thus creating survival niches for the pathogens. Pore-forming toxins, however, can also contribute to the induction of inflammation and hence to the manifestation of sepsis. Clearly, pore-forming toxins are not the sole factors that drive sepsis progression, but they often act in concert with other bacterial effectors, especially in the initial stages of neonatal sepsis manifestation.

PMID:
23710203
PMCID:
PMC3655490
DOI:
10.1155/2013/608456
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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