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Vaccine. 1993 Sep;11(12):1253-8.

A genetically engineered vaccine against the alpha-toxin of Clostridium perfringens protects mice against experimental gas gangrene.

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Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


Fragments of the alpha-toxin of Clostridium perfringens have been produced using genetic manipulation techniques. Antibody which cross-reacted with the alpha-toxin was induced after immunization with fragments representing the N- (Cpa1-249) and C-terminal (Cpa247-370) domains of the toxin. Smaller fragments of the alpha-toxin did not induce cross-reacting antibody. Anti-Cpa1-249 serum neutralized phospholipase C activity but not haemolytic activity of the toxin. Anti-Cpa247-370 serum neutralized both the phospholipase C and haemolytic activities. Only immunization with Cpa247-370 induced protection against the lethal effects of the toxin. Immunization with Cpa247-370 also provided protection in a mouse model against at least 10 LD100 doses of C. perfringens type A. This result confirms the essential role of this toxin in the pathogenesis of gas gangrene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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