Functional and structural characterization of soluble recombinant epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens D, causative agent of enterotoxaemia
Both Clostridium perfringens spores and toxins have reportedly been considered as a biological warfare agents. The spores may be incorporated into weapons which cause traumatic injury, and the resulting delivery of spores deep into tissues would result in the development of gas gangrene. Of the C. perfringens toxins, the epsilon-toxin is of particular concern and now appears on the list of CDC select agents. Currently there are no licensed vaccines suitable for use in humans which protect against either gas gangrene or epsilon-toxin. However, vaccines being developed for use in animals have the potential to be developed for use in humans.