Cross-complementation of Clostridium perfringens PLC and Clostridium septicum alpha-toxin mutants reveals PLC is sufficient to mediate gas gangrene

Catherine Lydia Kennedy, Dena Lyras, Kit-Ling Jackie Cheung, Thomas Joseph Hiscox, John Jeffrey Emmins, Julian Ian Rood

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium septicum are the most common causes of clostridial myonecrosis or gas gangrene. Although they mediate a similar disease pathology, they elaborate functionally very different alpha-toxins. We used a reciprocal complementation approach to assess the contribution of the primary toxin of each species to disease and found that C. perfringens alpha-toxin (PLC) was able to mediate the gross pathology of myonecrosis even in a C. septicum background, although it could not induce vascular leukostasis. Conversely, while C. septicum alpha-toxin restored some virulence to a C. perfringens plc mutant, it was less active than in its native background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413 - 418
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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