Submitted to: Genbank
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Clostridium perfringens can cause gas gangrene and food poisoning in humans and causes several enterot-oxemic diseases in animals including avian necrotic enteritis. This disease affects all chicken producing countries worldwide and is a considerable burden on the commercial chicken production industry. Until recently alpha-toxin was thought to be the major virulence factor involved in necrotic enteritis. However, by using an alpha-toxin null mutant it has been demonstrated that this toxin is not essential for disease. This paper details the identification and characterisation of a novel toxin, NetB, and provides evidence that the protein is an essential factor in causing necrotic enteritis in chickens. NetB has limited protein sequence identity to the beta-toxin of C. perfringens, which causes mucosal necrosis of the small intestine in humans and animals. We demonstrate that NetB null mutants can no longer cause disease in chickens, whereas both the wild-type and mutant complemented with a wild-type netB gene caused significant levels of necrotic enteritis. The identification of this important toxin advances our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and opens significant opportunities for the development of novel vaccines against necrotic enteritis in poultry.