By Dr. Jean Marc CAVAILLON
Etymology: Gk, endon + toxikon, interne + poison
Toxin contained in the cell walls of some microorganisms, especially gram-negative bacteria, that is released when the bacterium dies and is broken down in the body. Fever, chills, shock, leukopenia, and a variety of other symptoms result, depending on the particular organism and the condition of the infected person.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
The Ying & Yang Molecule
Due to their activity on the human body, displaying both beneficial and deleterious effects, Endotoxins properties are often symbolized in a Ying & Yang diagram:
But let's take a look on how Endotoxins were discovered and their activity explained through history.