Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) is a toxin produced by some strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The bacterium can cause cellulitis, abscesses, boils and carbuncles.
Risks include close contact sports such as wrestling and rugby and sharing contaminated towels or razors. Rarely, PVL-producing S. aureus can cause septic arthritis, bacteraemia (blood poisoning) or necrotising pneumonia. Fifty years ago, a particular type of PVL-MSSA was fairly common in hospitals.
Public Health England monitors sporadic cases and suspected clusters of the disease in the UK.