The production of enterotoxin A, B, C and D by 196 strains isolated from blood cultures and 95 strains from nasal carriers was investigated. Half of the bacteraemia strains were from patients who died with or because of their infection, the other half from patients who survived. The nasal strains were selected to match the bacteraemia strains regarding phage types. Overall, 30.6% of the bacteraemia strains and 40.0% of the nasal strains produced enterotoxins; enterotoxins B and C were the toxins produced most frequently in both groups. A similar incidence and pattern of enterotoxin production was found among the bacteraemia strains of regardless of acquisition of the infection, the portal of entry, presence or absence of endocarditis and outcome of the infection. Thus, the concept that the enterotoxins play an important role in staphylococcal infections, apart from the diseases caused by the toxins such as food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome, cannot be substantiated by the results of the present study.


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