Table 2.

Biological properties of PTSAgs that may cause hypotension in TSS

PTSAg propertyProposed pathogenesis of hypotension
SuperantigenicityPTSAgs induce cytokine-mediated capillary leak
Enhancement of host susceptibility to endotoxinPTSAgs induce endotoxin hypersensitivity or delay clearance of endogenous endotoxin, resulting in TNF-α-mediated capillary leak
Direct effects on endothelial cellsPTSAgs bind to endothelial cells, resulting in endothelial cell death, activation and/or hypersensitivity to endotoxin