• Clostridium sp.;
  • botulinum neurotoxin;
  • mouse bioassay;
  • toxin stability

ABSTRACT: A neurotoxigenic Clostridium sp. (RKD) isolated from intestine of decaying fish produced a neurotoxin that was neutralized by botulinum antitoxin (A+B+E) when tested by mouse protection bioassay. An amplicon of expected size (approximately 700 bp) was generated with primers specific for BoNT/B. Toxin was maximally released in the culture supernatant in the late stationary phase and was dependent on media composition. Growth was optimal in trypticase peptone yeast-extract glucose (TPYG) medium in a pH range of 7.5 to 8.0 and at a temperature between 35°C to 40°C while toxin production was optimum at 37°C (3 to 4 × 103 minimum lethal dose per milliliter) without any protease treatment. There was no correlation between growth and toxin production when cells were grown in media containing different concentrations of NaCl (0% to 5%). Toxin in the culture supernatant was more stable (50% reduction at 50°C in 90 min) than the partially purified fraction. Toxicity was destroyed gradually after increasing the number of freeze-thaw cycles and was almost completely inactivated after 5 cycles. It was completely inactivated by overnight treatment of 1 N NaOH while it retained 1.5% activity with a similar treatment with 1 N HCl.