An enzyme labelled immunosorbent assay for measuring Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin in gut contents

An enzyme labelled immunosorbent assay for measuring Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin in gut contents
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Pulpy kidney disease is an important fatal enterotoxaemia of sheep and occasionally other ruminants. Although history, clinical signs, post mortem picture, histopathological findings and demonstration of glucosuria are helpful in diagnosing the disease, the demonstration of Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin in the small intestine is a useful additional aid to diagnosis. Methods used to assay the toxin in the gut must be specific and sensitive, as the toxin is highly potent and small amounts can be significant in nonimmune animals, as little as 0.3 ng of activated toxin being sufficient to kill a mouse. The biological test is therefore a sensitive method for measuring toxin. However, unless small intestine contents are titrated in a number of mice it is not a quantitative method and is currently viewed with disfavour on humanitarian grounds. Although other tests have been used, for example the reversed phase passive haemagglutination, radial immunodiffusion and counter immunoelectrophoresis…

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