By Lance L. Simpson

Botulinum Neurotoxin and Tetanus Toxin

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Concluding Remarks 46 References 47 I. Introduction Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum are anaerobic spore-forming bacteria that produce powerful toxins lethal to humans and animals. The principal toxin produced by Clostridium tetani is a neurotoxin, and all toxigenic strains produce one type of toxin, a single polypeptide chain of approximately 150,000 Da and similar serological characteristics (Smith and Holdeman, 1968; Craven and Dawson, 1973). In contrast, Clostridium botulinum is comprised of a heterogenous group of bacterial strains that produce eight antigenically distinct toxins identified as types A, B, Cl9 C 2 , D, E, F, and G (Smith, 1977).

30 M. W. Eklund, F. T. Poysky and W. H. Habig Different strains of type C were shown to carry one, two, or more phages. When the purified phages were used as the infecting agent, only specific phages (referred to as TOX + phages) converted the nontoxigenic bacteria to the toxigenic state. Other phages called TOX~ did not affect toxicity. To determine whether the continued participation of the phage was necessary to maintain toxigenicity, bacteria reinfected with the TOX + phage were again cured of their prophage by culturing them in TYG broth (trypticase, yeast extract, glucose) containing Acridine Orange or antiserum prepared against the specific phage and plated on TYG agar.

And Grooter, C. (1962). Lysogenic conversion in staphylococci. Nature (London) 195, 407-408. , and Chang, E. (1972). Bacteriophages of Clostridium botulinum. Can. J. Microbiol. 18, 67-76. , and Dezfulian, M. (1981). Physiological characteristics of Clostridium botulinum and development of practical isolation and identification procedures. " (G. ), pp. 205-216. Academic Press, New York. 48 M. W. Eklund, F. T. Poysky and W. H. , and Niemann, H. (1986). EMBOJ. 5, 2495-2502. T. (1972). Activation of a toxic component of Clostridium botulinum types C and D by trypsin.

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