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Bacterial toxins cause deadly heart disease

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University of Iowa researchers have discovered what causes the lethal effects of staphylococcal infectiveendocarditis—aserious bacterial infection of heart valves that kills approximately 20,000 Americans each year.

According to the UI study, the culprits are superantigens—toxins produced in large quantities by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria— which disrupt the immune system, turning it from friend to foe.

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