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Clostridium perfringens NE pilus: identification, characterization and vaccine potential

2021 CPRF
NetB-positive Type G Clostridium perfringens strains cause necrotic enteritis (NE), an economically important poultry disease that is the major target of in-feed antibiotics. NE is a multifactorial disease, and while the NetB toxin is critical for its development, additional virulence factors are also involved. We previously identified a cluster of C. perfringens genes associated with NE-causing strains that are predicted to encode a pilus, a hair-like bacterial surface structure often involved in adherence. In recent studies, we have directly imaged the NE pilus using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and also show that inactivation of the NE pilus genes stops pilus production, significantly reducing the ability to bind collagen and cause disease. Finally, we have shown that immunization with NE pilus subunits significantly reduces disease severity in a C. perfringens challenge model. This work has revealed a promising new therapeutic target to combat this important disease.
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Clostridium perfringens,pilus identification,vaccine potential
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