Heat resistance, spore germination, and enterotoxigenicity of Clostridium perfringens

Microbiol Immunol. 1985;29(4):317-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.1985.tb00830.x.


Heat resistance at 95 C, heat activation at 75 C, and germination response were determined for spores of 10 serotype strains of Clostridium perfringens type A, including five heat-resistant and five heat-sensitive strains. The D95-values ranged from 17.6 to 63.0 and from 1.3 to 2.8 for the heat-resistant and the heat-sensitive strains, respectively. The heat-activation values, the ratios between the heated and unheated viable counts of spore suspensions, ranged from 0.0035 to 0.65 and from 6.5 to 60.0 for the heat-sensitive and the heat-resistant strains, respectively. Spores of these strains were divided into two distinct germination types on the basis of their germination response; spores of the heat-resistant strains germinated in KC1 medium after heat activation (K-type), and spores of the heat-sensitive strains germinated in a mixture of L-alanine, inosine, and CaCl2 in the presence of CO2 without heat activation (A-type). The strains were tested for enterotoxigenicity by a reversed passive latex-agglutination (RPLA) test. All the heat-resistant strains were RPLA-positive, whereas the heat-sensitive strains were all RPLA-negative. A total of 37 strains of the organism isolated from food-poisoning outbreaks were tested for spore germination and enterotoxin formation. All of the 20 heat-resistant strains showed K-type spore germination and, except for three strains, were RPLA-positive, whereas all of the 17 heat-sensitive strains showed A-type spore germination and, except for only one strain, were RPLA-negative.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / metabolism
  • Calcium Chloride / metabolism
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Clostridium perfringens / physiology*
  • Culture Media
  • Enterotoxins / biosynthesis*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Inosine / metabolism
  • Latex Fixation Tests
  • Potassium Chloride / metabolism
  • Spores, Bacterial


  • Culture Media
  • Enterotoxins
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Inosine
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Alanine