The alpha-toxin is one of the virulence factors of Clostridium perfringens for gas gangrene in humans and animals or necrotic enteritis in poultry. The C-terminal domain of this toxin ( cpa 247-370 ) was synthesized and cloned into pT1NX vector to construct the pT1NX-alpha plasmid. This surface-expressing plasmid was electroporated into Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393, generating the recombinant L. casei strain expressing alpha-toxoid (LC-α strain). Expression of this modified alpha-toxoid was confirmed by SDS-PAGE, immunoblotting, and direct immunofluorescence microscopy. BALB/c mice, immunized orally by the recombinant LC-α strain, elicited mucosal and significantly humoral immune responses (p < 0.05) and developed a protection against 900 MLD/mL of the standard alpha-toxin. This study showed that this recombinant LC-α strain could be a promising vaccine candidate against gas gangrene and necrotic enteritis.
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