Antiviral Activity of Shiga Toxin Towards Bovine Leukemia Virus
Human infections with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cause severe disease. STEC are frequently isolated from healthy domestic cattle but, an explanation as to why cattle carry STEC has not surfaced. Shiga toxin (Stx) belongs to a large family of related proteins, many of which are known to have potent antiviral activity for the plants that produce them. This project tests the hypothesis that Stx has anti-viral properties in cattle. If so, this property of STEC could explain why STEC persists in these animals.