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Toxins 2013, 5(11), 2138-2160; doi:10.3390/toxins5112138
Review

Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin: A Malevolent Molecule for Animals and Man?

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Received: 1 October 2013 / Revised: 30 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enterotoxins: Microbial Proteins and Host Cell Dysregulation)
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Abstract

Clostridium perfringens is a prolific, toxin-producing anaerobe causing multiple diseases in humans and animals. One of these toxins is epsilon, a 33 kDa protein produced by Clostridium perfringens (types B and D) that induces fatal enteric disease of goats, sheep and cattle. Epsilon toxin (Etx) belongs to the aerolysin-like toxin family. It contains three distinct domains, is proteolytically-activated and forms oligomeric pores on cell surfaces via a lipid raft-associated protein(s). Vaccination controls Etx-induced disease in the field. However, therapeutic measures are currently lacking. This review initially introduces C. perfringens toxins, subsequently focusing upon the Etx and its biochemistry, disease characteristics in various animals that include laboratory models (in vitro and in vivo), and finally control mechanisms (vaccines and therapeutics).
Keywords: Clostridium perfringens; protein toxin; receptor; animal models; cell culture; vaccines; therapeutics Clostridium perfringens; protein toxin; receptor; animal models; cell culture; vaccines; therapeutics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Stiles, B.G.; Barth, G.; Barth, H.; Popoff, M.R. Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin: A Malevolent Molecule for Animals and Man? Toxins 2013, 5, 2138-2160.

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