The effect of magnesium on the formation of toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) by Staphylococcus aureus
The influence of magnesium on the production of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) by Staphylococcus aureus was examined. As media we used: Standard-I-Nutrient Broth, Todd Hewitt Broth, Mueller-Hinton Broth, Isosensitest Broth and a chemically defined liquid medium. The magnesium content of these media was determined using flame photometry and was subsequently changed using magnesium sulfate to the magnesium concentrations as shown in table 1. In each of these media the TSST-1 positive S. aureus strains MN8 and T 40 were grown at 37 degrees C, 18 h, vigorously shaken. Then the colony forming units (cfu) were determined. Toxin assays were performed by immunodiffusion after concentrating the culture fluids 100-fold using ethanol precipitation. Concentrations of toxin per milliliter were determined by comparison with standard toxin preparations using hyperimmune-TSST-1 antisera as described. The cfu and the amount of TSST-1 produced are shown in table 1. No link could be demonstrated between TSST-1 production and magnesium concentration of the media used. Our results are in agreement with the ones published by Schlievert and disagree with the results from Mills.
Dickgiesser N, Wallach U.;
Amplification of Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin 1 by materials of medical interest
Philip M Tierno & Bruce A Hanna - New York University Medical Center
"Historically, research into TSS has suggested that TSS-T1 is stimulated by various ecological factors, (e.g. presence of oxygen or carbon dioxide, or lack of magnesium), many of which have been shown to stimulate production of TSS-T1. Here we report on the propensity of different fibres used in tampons to amplify TSS-T1 production in TSS associated strains of Staphylococcus aureus.
Two hundred and twenty intravaginal devices were used. It is concluded that certain materials provide a more absorbent fibre where nutrients are efficiently drawn in between the fibres and thereby creating an ideal physiochemical environment for the amplification of TSS-T1 and other toxins. The greatest stimulation of TSS-T1 was observed with (in decreasing order): polyester and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), polyacrylates, viscose rayon, gelatin foam, polyurethane, and cotton."
AKTA draws the conclusion that the more absorbent the fibre, then the higher risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome. Fortunately tampon manufacturers no longer use polyester and carboxymethyl cellulose. However, most tampons are a combination of rayon and cotton. Cotton is the least absorbent material, but appears to be the safest. There are all cotton tampons available, but not in the super absorbent size because they would have to be quite large. Just to refer back to teenage tampons, it can be seen that the slim tampons obviously contain more rayon.
Magnesium Loss Key To Toxic Shock
Between 1980 and 1984, 2,683 people got toxic shock syndrome, and 114 of them died, according to the national Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Three-quarters of the victims were tampon users, but the disorder also strikes men and children.
The illness is caused by toxic shock syndrome toxin 1, a poison produced by an everyday bacterium known as Staphlyococcus aureus. When levels of magnesium are relatively high, the bacteria produce little toxin. But toxin levels increase- six to 12 times when magnesium levels are low.
The researchers found that the two tampon fibers chemically bind magnesium, creating a perfect habitat for the bacteria. "If a very tiny amount of magnesium - a multithousandth of an ounce - is added, the toxin production is very high," Kass said at a news conference. "If more is added, toxin production goes down."
Toxic shock syndrome most commonly occurs on the fourth menstrual day. The researchers speculate that during the days of heavy blood flow, there is so much magnesium in the vagina that the tampon cannot bind it all.
But as blood flow slows, magnesium levels drop. Then the tampons remove enough magnesium to induce high production of toxin.