1997 Volume 59 Issue 9 Pages 853-855
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed for the detection of the hemolysin (alpha toxin) gene of Clostridium septicum. The PCR primers were designed from the sequence of the hemolysin gene and synthesized. A DNA fragment of 270 bp was amplified from10 strains of C. septicum, but was not from strains of C. chauvoei, C. perfringens, C. novyi, or C. haemolyticum. When the PCR product was digested with Sau3AI, two DNA fragments of the expected 148 bp and 122 bp were recognized. The lowest detectable threshold of PCR for the hemolysin gene was 3.8 × 10 3 cells/ml. The PCR technique may be useful for rapid detection or identification of C. septicum associated with malignant edema.