Skip directly to local search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Volume 14, Number 5—May 2008

Books and Media

Superantigens: Molecular Basis for Their Role in Human Diseases

Suggested citation for this article

Malak Kotb; John D. Frasereditors
ASM Press, Washington, DC, USA, 2007
ISBN-10: 1555814247
ISBN-13: 978-1555814243
Pages: 263; Price: US $129.95

This collection of short reviews by experts in the field provides a complete overview of microbial superantigens, an unusual family of proteins that form an abnormal linkage between the major histocompatibility complex class II antigens and specific T-cell repertoire Vβ families. This linkage leads to the nonspecific activation of large numbers of regulatory T lymphocytes, producing cytokine storms that can have a variety of serious clinical consequences.

The book is organized into 5 sections with a total of 16 chapters. The first section is an overview of the breadth and scope of superantigen research, including an up-to date catalog of superantigens characterized from both bacteria and viruses, their cellular interactions, and disease associations. The next 3 chapters deal with the 3-dimensional structure, function, and diversity of superantigens, including an account of the critical involvement of zinc in the optimal binding of some of these proteins. Section 3 contains an entire chapter that describes the pathophysiology of superantigens in both acute and chronic skin disorders. Several chapters in section 4 describe in vitro and animal model systems for the study of diseases caused by superantigens, including autoimmune disease, neuropathology, toxic shock, and others.

The final 4 chapters in section 5 detail various therapeutic approaches for superantigen-mediated diseases. These approaches include conventional antibiotics, antagonistic peptides, intravenous immunoglobulin, antibodies directed to T-cell costimulatory receptors, and superantigen receptor mimics, in addition to existing and experimental approaches. An unnumbered section after the first chapter contains high-quality color plate illustrations, which collectively provide outstanding visual support for several chapters.

Superantigens affords a comprehensive look at the current state of knowledge regarding these interesting proteins in a relatively compact volume. The text is certainly a must-read for any scientist engaged in their study but will also prove a rewarding read for microbiologists interested in this curious interaction between mibrobes and the immune system.

D. Scott Schmid*Comments to Author 
Author affiliation: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Suggested citation for this article: Schmid DS. Superantigens: molecular basis for their role in human diseases [book review]. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2008 May [date cited]. Available from http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/5/08-0089.htm

DOI: 10.3201/eid1405.080089

Top of Page

Table of Contents – Volume 14, Number 5—May 2008

Comments to the Authors

Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

D. Scott Schmid, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop G18, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA;





characters(s) remaining.

Comment submitted successfully, thank you for your feedback.

Comments to the EID Editors

Please contact the EID Editors via our Contact Form.

 

Past Issues

Select a Past Issue:

Art in Science - Selections from Emerging Infectious Diseases
Now available for order



CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money. Learn More About How CDC Works For You…

USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO