Distinct physiologic and inflammatory responses elicited in baboons after challenge with Shiga toxin type 1 or 2 from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a principal source of regional outbreaks of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in the United States and worldwide. Primary bacterial virulence factors are Shiga toxin types 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2), and we performed parallel analyses of the pathophysiologies elicited by the toxins in nonhuman primate models to identify shared and unique consequences of the toxemias. After a single intravenous challenge with purified Stx1 or Stx2, baboons (Papio) developed thrombocytopenia, anemia, and acute renal failure with loss of glomerular function, in a dose-dependent manner. Differences in the timing and magnitude of physiologic responses were observed between the toxins. The animals were more sensitive to Stx2, with mortality at lower doses, but Stx2-induced renal injury and mortality were delayed 2 to 3 days compared to those after Stx1 challenge. Multiplex analyses of plasma inflammatory cytokines revealed similarities (macrophage chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1] and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha]) and differences (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]) elicited by the toxins with respect to the mediator induced and timing of the responses. Neither toxin induced detectable levels of plasma TNF-alpha. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the in vivo consequences of the toxins have been compared in a parallel and reproducible manner in nonhuman primates, and the data show similarities to patient observations. The availability of experimental nonhuman primate models for Stx toxemias provides a reproducible platform for testing antitoxin compounds and immunotherapeutics with outcome criteria that have clinical meaning.

author list (cited authors)

  • Stearns-Kurosawa, D. J., Collins, V., Freeman, S., Tesh, V. L., & Kurosawa, S.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Stearns-Kurosawa, DJ||Collins, Valta||Freeman, Scott||Tesh, Vernon L||Kurosawa, Shinichiro

publication date

  • June 2010