Immunological tolerance is a state of unresponsiveness to foreign substances (antigens) which can develop in human and animal species as the result of continued exposure to antigens early in life. We utilized this principle for the preparation of antibodies against Clostridium botulinum type A toxin. By selective suppression of the immunological response of rabbits to unwanted antigen and subsequent immunization with a toxoid, we were able to produce a specific type A antitoxin without the need to purify the toxin. Despite cross-reactivity with C. botulinum type B, our type A antitoxin was otherwise specific since it did not react with culture filtrates of nontoxigenic variants of type B, any other C. botulinum type (C, D, E, F, and G), nor with 18 other Clostridium species, including Clostridium sporogenes. Using this antitoxin, we developed a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of C. botulinum type A toxin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)