Purification and characterization of an immunodominant 36 kDa antigen present on the cell surface of Clostridium difficile

Microb Pathog. 1992 Oct;13(4):271-9. doi: 10.1016/0882-4010(92)90037-o.


The 36 kDa antigen represents the major EDTA-extracted protein of Clostridium difficile strains belonging to electrophoretic group 2. Antibodies to this antigen are found in sera of patients with C. difficile-associated diarrhoea. The 36 kDa antigen was extracted from C. difficile C253 by EDTA and purified by gel filtration (Sephacryl S300) and ion exchange chromatography (DEAE-Trisacryl M). The molecular weight of the purified protein was 36 kDa as determined by SDS-PAGE, also in non-reducing conditions. By gel filtration, the molecular size appeared to be 72 kDa and was not modified by the presence of EDTA or SDS in the column buffer. Since IEF showed a single isoelectric form of pI 4.6, the protein could be a homodimeric molecule. Immunofluorescence demonstrated that the 36 kDa antigen was located on the surface of the C. difficile cell. Monospecific antiserum raised in rabbits reacted positively with the 36 kDa protein of most group 2 C. difficile strains isolated from antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) outbreaks in Italy and other European countries.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Antigens, Surface / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Clostridium difficile / chemistry
  • Clostridium difficile / immunology*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Weight


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunodominant Epitopes