Clostridium perfringensβ-toxin binding to vascular endothelial cells in a human case of enteritis necroticans

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Abstract

Clostridium perfringens type C-induced enteritis necroticans is a rare but often fatal disease in humans. A consistent histopathological finding is an acute, deep necrosis of the small intestinal mucosa associated with acute vascular necrosis and massive haemorrhage in the lamina propria and submucosa. Retrospective immunohistochemical investigations of tissues from a diabetic adult who died of enteritis necroticans revealed endothelial localization of C. perfringensβ-toxin in small intestinal lesions. Our results indicate that vascular necrosis might be induced by a direct interaction between C. perfringensβ-toxin and endothelial cells and that targeted disruption of endothelial cells plays a role in the pathogenesis of enteritis necroticans.

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