Infectious Diseases 2008

Infectious Diseases 2008

NetB, a new toxin associated with Necrotic Enteritis

Keyburn et al (2008) PLoS Pathogens, 4, e26 24 February, 2008

For over 30 years a phospholipase C enzyme called alpha-toxin was thought to be the key virulence factor in necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens. However, using a gene knockout mutant Keyburn et al. have recently shown that alpha-toxin is not essential for pathogenesis. They now discovered a key virulence determinant Carriage of the NetB gene distinguishes virulent strains of Clostridium perfringens that are capable of inducing necrotic enteritis in poultry from strains that do not cause this syndrome.
NetB was discovered following the clear demonstration that α-toxin, previously thought to be the principal virulence factor, was not essential for pathogenesis.
NetB resides in a large plasmid encoded locus.