Differences between exotoxins and endotoxins

Exotoxins
1. Protein polypeptides between 10000-900000 with mol. wt ranging

Endotoxins
1. Lipopolysaccharide complex. Lipid A portion is probably responsible for toxicity 2. Present in cell wall as a constituent. Released only on disruption of cells

2. Secreted by living cells into medium from cell cytoplasm. Found in high concentration in fluid medium 3. Heat labile. Toxicity is destroyed rapidly on exposure to temperature above 60°C 4. Highly antigenic 5. Stimulates immune system to produce specific antitoxin which can neutralize toxin 6. Can be converted into antigenic but nontoxic, toxoid by formalin, acid, heat etc. 7. Do not produce fever in host 8. Specific for particular tissue (e.g. tetanus toxin for nervous system) 9. Produced mainly by Gram +ve bacteria and some gram-negative Frequently controlled by extra chromosomal genes

3. Relatively heat stable and can withstand heat over 60°C for hours without loosing toxicity 4. Poorly antigenic 5. No antitoxin is formed. Only antibodies against polysaccharide 6. Cannot be converted into toxoids

7. Usually produce fever in host 8. Nonspecific in action

9. Produced mainly by Gram -ve bacteria 10. Synthesis directed by chromosomal genes

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