Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is an acute, life-threatening acute bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Symptoms include high fever, hypotension, rash with diffuse macular erythroderma, vomiting and diarrhea, myalgia, renal dysfunction etc. Exotoxins released from S. aureus including toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), enterotoxins A, C, D, E and H and Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins A, B and C activate the immune system to release massive quantities of inflammatory cytokines with increase in capillary permeability, tissue damage, shock and multiorgan failure. Even though TSS is considered as a rare disease, more than 700 people were infected with streptococcal TSS. It can affect men, women and children alike.
People suspected having TSS require immediate medical assistance. Supportive care like fluid supplement and dialysis help the patient recover quickly. Penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics are most efficacious against rapidly growing bacteria. Intravenous antibiotic combinations of pencillins and clindamycin are given to help prevent recurrence. With proper treatment, patients generally recover within three weeks. A vaccine designed to prevent the infection is in Phase 1 clinical trials. Patient education is necessary to avoid the infection.