Increased incidence of menstruation-associated bactericidal defects in neutrophils from women who have recovered from toxic shock syndrome

Research paper by Elaine M. Berger, James E. Lockey, Virginia H. Aldrich, John E. Repine

Indexed on: 01 Dec '86Published on: 01 Dec '86Published in: Inflammation


There is a growing suspicion that a host abnormality may contribute to the pathogenesis of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). We found that females (5 of 5) who had recovered from TSS had transient, menstruation-associated decreases (≥9%) in the ability of their neutrophils to killStaphylococcus aureus, 502A in vitro more often (P=0.040 by Fisher's exact test) than non-TSS-affected control subjects (5 of 12). In addition, the average decrease in bactericidal activity in neutrophils obtained during menstruation from recovered TSS patients was 30 ± 9% compared to 7 ± 7% for neutrophils from non-TSS-affected control subjects. The results are consistent with the possibility that transient menstruation-associated decreases in neutrophil bactericidal function may indicate susceptibility and/or contribute to the development of TSS.