Shiga toxin

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Shiga toxin

the endotoxin formed by Shigella dysenteriae type 1.

Shi·ga tox·in

(shē'gah tok'sin)
The endotoxin formed by Shigella dysenteriae type 1.

Shiga toxin

An extremely poisonous compound secreted by enteric bacteria that causes hemorrhagic and necrotic colitis. The toxin was formerly called verotoxin because of its effect on Vero cells.


The toxin acts on the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. The B subunits of the toxin bind to a component of the cell membrane known as Gb3 and enter the cell. When the protein is inside the cell, the A subunit interacts with the ribosomes to stop protein synthesis. Like the ricin toxin, the A subunit of Shiga toxin is an N-glycosidase that modifies the RNA component of the ribosome to stop protein synthesis, leading to the death of the cell. The breakdown of the endothelial cell lining leads to hemorrhage.


The first sign of shiga toxin activity is usually bloody diarrhea. This is because Shiga toxin is usually taken in with contaminated food or water.

See also: Shiga, Kiyoshi
References in periodicals archive ?
Shiga toxins 1 (Stxl) and 2 (Stx2) are mainly produced by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), but Stx1 can also be produced by S.
Kasetkowy second immunochromatographic rapid test for the detection of Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Verotoksyn) produced by E.
coli strains are known food safety concerns, and produce Shiga toxins, which are known to cause severe illness.
Shiga toxins represent a group of bacterial toxins that are involved in the most serious forms of food poisoning.
When found to have shiga toxins, the specimens would be sent to a reference laboratory abroad through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This family of toxins was subsequently also called Shiga-like toxins (SLT), and more recently Shiga toxins (Stx), because of the close relation to the Stx of Shigella dysenteriae type 1.
Shiga toxins were not isolated from any of 406 samples from pigeons, but virulence genes typically associated with disease in humans were identified in isolates from 7.
coli O157:H7 is a rare variety that produces large quantities of potent Shiga toxins, which can cause severe damage to small blood vessels and kidney tissue.
The most vulnerable blood vessels are in the kidneys, though Shiga toxins can harm the pancreas, the heart and even the brain.
All members of the group spew lethal Shiga toxins, which cause intestinal bleeding and can hit a person's other organs with deadly force.
It is the shiga toxins that the organisms produce, either shiga toxin 1 or shiga toxin 2, that cause serious complications in the infected person.