Author(s): Kink JA, Williams JA
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Abstract Clostridium difficile causes antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis in humans through the actions of toxin A and toxin B on the colonic mucosa. At present, broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs are used to treat this disease, and patients suffer from high relapse rates after termination of treatment. This study examined the role of both toxins in pathogenesis and the ability of orally administered avian antibodies against recombinant epitopes of toxin A and toxin B to treat C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD). DNA fragments representing the entire gene of each toxin were cloned, expressed, and affinity purified. Hens were immunized with these purified recombinant-protein fragments of toxin A and toxin B. Toxin-neutralizing antibodies fractionated from egg yolks were evaluated by a toxin neutralization assay in Syrian hamsters. The carboxy-terminal region of each toxin was most effective in generating toxin-neutralizing antibodies. With a hamster infection model, antibodies to both toxins A and B (CDAD antitoxin) were required to prevent morbidity and mortality from infection. In contrast to vancomycin, CDAD antitoxin prevented relapse and subsequent C. difficile reinfection in the hamsters. These results indicate that CDAD antitoxin may be effective in the treatment and management of CDAD in humans.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination