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J Infect Dis. 1985 May;151(5):883-9.

Development of serum antibody to toxic shock toxin among individuals with toxic shock syndrome in Wisconsin.


The presence of Staphylococcus aureus producing toxic shock toxin (TST) and the absence of antibody to TST (anti-TST) in acute-phase sera are markers for toxic shock syndrome (TSS). We used radioimmunoassay methods to examine 133 acute-phase and 277 convalescent-phase serum specimens from 181 patients with TSS for anti-TST. Among confirmed menstrual cases, nine (9.5%) of 95 patients had demonstrable anti-TST in acute-phase sera obtained during the first seven days of illness; patients with probable or non-menstrual TSS had a higher prevalence of anti-TST in acute-phase sera. Five (33.3%) of 15 individuals with confirmed menstrual TSS developed anti-TST as early as seven to nine days after TSS onset; 32 (62.7%) of 51 patients had demonstrable anti-TST in sera obtained more than one year after their episode of TSS. This study demonstrates a gradual rate and low magnitude of development of anti-TST after TSS and supports the diagnostic usefulness of measuring anti-TST levels in sera from patients suspected of having TSS.

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