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Recurrent boils should raise suspicion of PVL toxin.
The significance of soft tissue infections such as furuncles has been elevated by their association in the community with strains of Staphylococcus aureus that express Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) toxin,1 regarded as a major virulence factor in Staph aureus infections.2,3
Staph aureus can be grouped as methicillin-resistant (MRSA) or methicillin-sensitive (MSSA). Both can express PVL toxin.
In 2005-06 the HPA Staphylococcus Reference Unit, which receives samples from England and Wales, identified 720 cases of PVL toxin-associated Staph aureus infections (PVL-SA).3,4
In 2009-10, 4,784 cases of PVL-SA were identified: 58% were MSSA and 42%, MRSA.4
It is …