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Definition: 'Endotoxin'

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endotoxin

Type: Term

Pronunciation: en-dō-tok′sin

Definitions:
1. A bacterial toxin not freely liberated into the surrounding medium, in contrast to exotoxin.
2. The complex phospholipid-polysaccharide macromolecules that form an integral part of the outer membrane of a variety of relatively avirulent as well as virulent strains of gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are relatively heat stable, are less potent than most exotoxins, are less specific, and do not form toxoids; on injection, they may cause a state of shock and, in smaller doses, fever and leukopenia followed by leukocytosis; they have the capacity of eliciting the Shwartzman and the Sanarelli-Shwartzman phenomena.

Synonyms: intracellular toxin



The information shown above for endotoxin is provided by Stedman's.

* Stedman's, part of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, provide a comprehensive line of health-science publications for healthcare professionals and medical students.

Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.








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