1887

Abstract

is a major nosocomial pathogen and a causative agent of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. PCR analysis of the toxin A and B genes of this bacterium has revealed 20 variant types (toxinotypes I–XX), many of which can cause human disease. Strains comprising the 15 toxin A-positive, toxin B-positive toxinotypes are not usually differentiated from non-variant strains by routine laboratories that do not utilize PCR tests. Consequently, the toxins from these variant strains have not been investigated thoroughly. The present studies revealed that toxin A-positive (A+B+) strains representing 12 variant toxinotypes all express considerably lower levels of toxin A and are less cytotoxic than non-variant strain VPI 10463. Truncated forms of toxin A were detected by immunoblotting in toxinotype VI and VII strains and these toxins were differentiated from each other and from toxin A of the non-variant strain. A further novel finding was the ability of toxin A-positive (A+B+) strains of toxinotypes IX, XIV and XV to exhibit an alternative -like cytopathic effect on Vero cells, characterized by marked cell clumping. A rapid and simple method for toxin A removal from culture filtrates was developed. This enabled confirmation that the abnormal cytotoxicity observed for these strains is due to an altered toxin B, as has been found in toxin A-negative (A−B+) strains. These findings indicate the potential for differentiation of certain toxin A-positive (A+B+) toxinotypes without the need for PCR techniques.

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2004-03-01
2019-11-14
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