Streptococcal toxins: role in pathogenesis and disease

Timothy C Barnett, Jason N Cole, Tania Rivera-Hernandez, Anna Henningham, James C Paton, Victor Nizet, Mark J Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) are host-adapted bacterial pathogens among the leading infectious causes of human morbidity and mortality. These microbes and related members of the genus Streptococcus produce an array of toxins that act against human cells or tissues, resulting in impaired immune responses and subversion of host physiological processes to benefit the invading microorganism. This toxin repertoire includes haemolysins, proteases, superantigens and other agents that ultimately enhance colonization and survival within the host and promote dissemination of the pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1721-41
Number of pages21
JournalCellular Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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