An enterotoxin is a harmful substance produced by certain bacteria that is specifically dangerous to parts of your gastrointestinal tract. The substance enters your stomach and intestines when you eat tainted food or water, causing symptoms such as cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Sodha SV, Griffin PM, Hughes JM. Foodborne disease. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2010:chap 99.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.