Skip to Content


Pronunciation: ek'so-tok'sin

Definition: A specific, soluble, antigenic, usually heat labile, injurious substance elaborated by certain gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria; it is formed within the cell, but is released into the environment where it is rapidly active in extremely small amounts; most exotoxins are proteinaceous (MW 70,000–900,000) and can have the toxic portion of the molecule destroyed by heat, prolonged storage, or chemicals; the nontoxic but antigenic form is a toxoid.

Synonym(s): ectotoxin, extracellular toxin

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.