Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a dramatic, easily recognized clinical event in which sheets of the upper layer of the epidermis slide off the lower layers of the skin. This sign developed in a 70-year-old man in association with a rapidly fatal staphylococcal septicemia. Although recognized in children, this association has been reported only rarely in adults. Inoculation of the isolated bacterium into newborn mice produced characteristic wrinkling. Development of this epidermolysis requires immediate antibiotic therapy.
(JAMA 229:425-427, 1974)