Endotoxins vs Exotoxins
(Difference between Bacterial Endotoxin and Exotoxin)
Microbial toxins are noxious substances produced by the microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi in order to promote their pathogenicity and disease-causing process. The microbial toxins usually destroy the host tissue and they facilitate the infection by disabling the host immune system. A disease that results from a specific toxin is denoted as ‘Intoxication’. A toxin is a substance that alters the normal metabolism of host cells with deleterious effects. The term ‘Toxemia’ refers to the condition caused by the toxins that have entered the bloodstream of the host.
The toxins produced by bacteria are categorized into two main categories: (1) Endotoxins and (2) Exotoxins.
(1). Endotoxins: They are also called as Lipopolysaccharides or LPS. LPS are present on the outer membrane of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria that, under certain circumstances, become toxic to specific hosts. Lipopolysaccharides are called endotoxins because they are bound to the bacterium and they are released only when the bacterial cells lyse.