Largely non- bacterial infections that nonetheless cause disease primarily via their release of tissue penetrating exotoxins.
Certain diseases are associated with pathogens that are non-invasive in that they do not penetrate as organisms into body tissues but which produce especially exotoxins that nonetheless do damage to body tissues. Disease, however, does not occur unless sufficient pathogen numbers are present to produce sufficient quantities of exotoxin.
Since these infections are non-invasive, growth occurs on tissue surfaces, i.e., on mucous membranes, and therefore is considered to be . Contrast with tissue invasion without toxin production and .
Vibrio and Escherichia are examples of with this mechanism of pathogenicity and Corynebacterium causes via a similar mechanism.
It is perhaps of interest that the primary toxins produced by all three of these pathogens – , vibrio, and toxins, respectively – are .
Note that there are a number of additional bacterial infections that, while not involving colonization on mucous membranes, nonetheless are invasive primarily in terms of their exotoxins. These include Clostridium botulinium as well as Clostridium tetani (e.g., ).
Note also that these various "" can be viewed as examples of , that is, phenotypic manifestations of organisms that occur external to their bodies, e.g., such as one sees with a .