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Microb Pathog. 2007 Oct;43(4):161-5. Epub 2007 May 18.

Analysis of protection afforded by a Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxoid against heterologous clostridial phospholipases C.

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK.


The major virulence determinant in clostridial myonecrosis caused by Clostridium perfringens is a phospholipase C (PLC), the alpha-toxin. Previously, mice have been protected against challenge with heterologous alpha-toxin or Clostridium perfringens spores by immunisation with the C-domain (known as Cpa(247-370) or alpha-toxoid) of the alpha-toxin. In this study, we have determined the ability of the alpha-toxoid to protect against the lethal effects of a divergent C. perfringens alpha-toxin and against the PLCs of C. absonum or C. bifermentans, species which have been isolated from cases of clostridial myonecrosis. Protection against the C. perfringens alpha-toxin variant, the C. absonum alpha-toxin or the C. bifermentans PLC was elicited by immunisation with the alpha-toxoid in vivo.

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