Toxic Shock Syndrome: A Newly Recognized Complication of Influenza and Influenzalike Illness

Kristine L. Macdonald, Michael T. Osterholm, Craig W. Hedberg, Christian G. Schrock, Garry F. Peterson, Jeffrey M. Jentzen, Stanley A. Leonard, Patrick M. Schlievert

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149 Scopus citations


Nine cases of severe hypotension or death compatible with toxic shock syndrome (TSS) as a complication of influenza and influenzalike illness were identified in Minnesota with onsets between Jan 2,1986, and Feb 23,1986, in which five of the patients died. During this time, an influenza outbreak was occurring in the state. Cultures of respiratory secretions were performed in eight patients; Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from all of them. Seven S aureus isolates were available for determination of exotoxin production; five isolates produced toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, one produced enterotoxin B, and one produced both. Acute influenza B infection was confirmed in three of four patients for whom throat cultures or acute and convalescent serum samples were available. Two patients fulfilled the Centers for Disease Control—confirmed case definition for TSS. Four additional patients fulfilled the CDC criteria for a probable case of TSS, and TSS was a likely diagnosis in the remaining three patients. The initial presentation was suggestive of nonsuppurative tracheitis or viral pneumonia in eight patients. In the remaining patient, the initial clinical presentation was compatible with staphylococcal pneumonia. This report demonstrates that TSS can occur as a complication of influenza and influenzalike illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1058
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 27 1987


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