A High Molecular Weight Protein From Staphylococcus Intermedius Cross-Reacts With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin Antibodies

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Enterotoxin production by Staphylococcus species other than Staphylococcus aureus has been reported. Staphylococcus strains (104 in toto) representing twelve species and subspecies were examined for enterotoxins using a commercial staphylococcal enterotoxin ELISA immunoassay (TECRA, International Bioproducts). Staphylococcus intermedius (24 strains) and S. aureus (7 strains) were positive with this test. Western blots of S. aureus exoproteins demonstrated proteins of ∼30 kD, consistent with known staphylococcal enterotoxins. The major antigen in all S. intermedius strains, a 75 kD protein, was not analogous to previously described staphylococcal enterotoxins. This protein was unique to S. intermedius. Gel filtration data indicate that the protein is a subunit of a larger protein in vivo. The 75 kD protein cross-reacts with several enterotoxin antibodies. It is unclear whether the protein is a toxin, but its homology with S. aureus enterotoxins may indicate a shared toxic region, or this protein may create false positive results in screening for enterotoxin.