Festschrift: Professor Hendrik Johannes Koornhof

A Pivotal Role for Pneumolysin in the Immunopathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention of Pneumococcal Disease

Charles Feldman, Ronald Anderson


The pneumococcus remains an extremely important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. While the microorganism has a number of significant virulence mechanisms, many recent studies have focussed on pneumolysin, which is recognized to be one of the most important virulence factors of the organism. The purpose of this manuscript is to review recent developments with respect to the role of pneumolysin in pneumococcal disease. It describes how the cytotoxic and other pro-inflammatory activities of this toxin contribute to disease pathogenesis and pathology, as well as various immunological and pharmacological strategies that may target these delereterious effects of the toxin.

Authors' affiliations

Charles Feldman,

Ronald Anderson,

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Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumolysin; immunopathogenesis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2007;97(11):1141.

Article History

Date submitted: 2007-06-25
Date published: 2007-11-23

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