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J Invest Dermatol. 1978 Oct;71(4):274-5.

The epidermolytic toxin of Staphylococcus aureus: its failure to bind to cells and its detection in blister fluids of patients with bullous impetigo.


Radioiodinated staphylococcal epidermolytic toxin was found not to bind to erythrocytes, blood leukocytes, trypsin-dispersed keratinocytes, epidermis or whole skin. Moreover the toxin could not be found to bind to murine epithelia by indirect immunofluorescence methods. However, the toxin, measured by radioimmunoassay, could be eluted from the skin of mice undergoing epidermolysis following intraperitoneal injection of toxinogenic Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, epidemolysin was measured in the blister fluid of 3 of 5 children with bullous impetigo but not in blister fluid from control patients with other blistering eruptions. Thus epidermolysin has been demonstrated to be present in lesions of the staphylococcal epidermolytic toxin syndrome but its mechanism of action does not involve binding to cells.

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