Staphylococcal Enterotoxin C-An Update on SEC Variants, Their Structure and Properties, and Their Role in Foodborne Intoxications

Danai Etter, Jenny Schelin, Markus Schuppler, Sophia Johler
Toxins 2020 September 10, 12 (9)
Staphylococcal enterotoxins are the most common cause of foodborne intoxications (staphylococcal food poisoning) and cause a wide range of diseases. With at least six variants staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC) stands out as particularly diverse amongst the 25 known staphylococcal enterotoxins. Some variants present unique and even host-specific features. Here, we review the role of SEC in human and animal health with a particular focus on its role as a causative agent for foodborne intoxications. We highlight structural features unique to SEC and its variants, particularly, the emetic and superantigen activity, as well as the roles of SEC in mastitis and in dairy products. Information about the genetic organization as well as regulatory mechanisms including the accessory gene regulator and food-related stressors are provided.

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