Preparation and characterization of a human scFv against theClostridium perfringenstype A alpha-toxin

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Alpha-toxin produced by Clostridium perfringens is an important virulence factor, causing food poisoning and gas gangrene in humans. As such, it is considered a potential bioterrorism threat. To date, there is still no human effective therapeutic drug against alpha-toxin. In this study, a human single chain antibody against alpha-toxin was produced from synthetic (Tomlinson I + J) naive phage display libraries, and its preventive and therapeutic efficacy in mice was examined. To prove the neutralizing potential of the scFv, alpha-toxin was preincubated with scFv and subsequently tested for its lecithinase and hemolytic activity, as well as its lethal effect in mice following intravenous administration. The equilibrium association constant between scFv and CPA was 2.02 × 1010 (1/M), as analyzed by SPR. The scFv could inhibit lecithinase and hemolytic activity, and provided effective protection against alpha-toxin when mice were challenged 1-h post scFv injection. In addition, the survival rate reached 80% for mice treated with scFv within 30 min of being challenged with a 2 × LD50 dose of alpha-toxin. These results confirmed that we successfully prepared a human scFv against C. perfringens type A alpha-toxin, which can be used in the prevention and treatment of alpha-toxin-related illness.

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