Chapter 4 : Detection of Toxins of O1 and Non-O1

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Although cellular components are involved in the pathogenesis of cholera in ways not yet clearly discerned, the pathogenicity of serovar O1 is largely due to the synthesis of an exotoxin that triggers the secretion of water and electrolytes into the small intestine. This chapter provides a historical and practical perspective on the variety of biological, tissue culture, immunologic, and enzymatic assays developed for detection of O1 and non-O1 toxins. The microtiter plate-based GM ganglioside enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to detect heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and cholera toxin and was based on the specific binding of these toxins to polystyrene-adsorbed GM ganglioside and subsequently to enzyme to demonstrate the presence of the bound toxin by immunologic means. This assay could detect cholera toxin and other bacterial protein toxins within several hours in standard test tubes. The entero-toxin-binding effect of free gangliosides present in mucin found in stools is probably an important reason for the low or undetectable levels of enterotoxins in stools. Monoclonal antibodies against STh and STp are valuable and sensitive reagents used in the development of immunoassays for heat-stable enterotoxins. A variety of methods for detection of cholera toxin and other toxins elaborated by Ol and non-Ol strains have evolved over the last decades.

Citation: Nair G, Takeda Y. 1994. Detection of Toxins of O1 and Non-O1, p 53-67. In Wachsmuth I, Blake P, Olsvik Ø (ed), and Cholera. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818364.ch4
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