Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a principal source of regional outbreaks of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in the United States and worldwide. Primary bacterial virulence factors are Shiga toxin types 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2), and we performed parallel analyses of the pathophysiologies elicited by the toxins in nonhuman primate models to identify shared and unique consequences of the toxemias. After a single intravenous challenge with purified Stx1 or Stx2, baboons (Papio) developed thrombocytopenia, anemia, and acute renal failure with loss of glomerular function, in a dose-dependent manner. Differences in the timing and magnitude of physiologic responses were observed between the toxins. The animals were more sensitive to Stx2, with mortality at lower doses, but Stx2-induced renal injury and mortality were delayed 2 to 3 days compared to those after Stx1 challenge. Multiplex analyses of plasma inflammatory cytokines revealed similarities (macrophage chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1] and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) and differences (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]) elicited by the toxins with respect to the mediator induced and timing of the responses. Neither toxin induced detectable levels of plasma TNF-α. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the in vivo consequences of the toxins have been compared in a parallel and reproducible manner in nonhuman primates, and the data show similarities to patient observations. The availability of experimental nonhuman primate models for Stx toxemias provides a reproducible platform for testing antitoxin compounds and immunotherapeutics with outcome criteria that have clinical meaning
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