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J Clin Pathol. 1996 Jun;49(6):500-3.

The potential role of Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Clostridium perfringens is a bowel commensal that can colonise the biliary tract. It produces the alpha toxin (phospholipase C), which can induce spontaneous tissue necrosis.

AIMS:

To investigate whether there is any evidence that Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin can be detected in acute pancreatitis.

METHODS:

Serum samples from 21 patients with acute pancreatitis and 22 controls were assayed for C perfringens phospholipase C as well as anti-phospholipase C IgG and IgM; IgG and IgM anti-toxins were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS:

In normal healthy controls there is a very high level of natural anti-toxin of both the IgG and IgM class. Of the 21 patients with acute pancreatitis alpha toxin was detected in five (23.8%). Levels of both IgG and IgM anti-toxin were significantly reduced in acute pancreatitis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that there is an abnormality of the immune status to C perfringens alpha toxin in patients with acute pancreatitis. This may be the result of a release of alpha toxin, although it is difficult to state whether this is a primary or secondary phenomenon in these patients. These preliminary results merit further investigation.

PMID:
8763267
PMCID:
PMC500543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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