Some properties of heat-resistant and heat-sensitive strains of Clostridium perfringens. I. Heat resistance and toxigenicity

J Bacteriol. 1967 Jan;93(1):21-6. doi: 10.1128/jb.93.1.21-26.1967.


Heat resistance at 100 C (D-values), sporulating ratios, toxigenicity for mice, and lecithinase activity (as micrograms per milliliter of enzyme, ascertained by the lecithovitellin reaction) were determined for four strains of Clostridium perfringens. A definite inverse relationship between thermal resistance and toxigenicity was found. The D-values ranged from 17.6 for the most heat-resistant strain to 0.3 for the strain possessing the least heat resistance, with corresponding lecithinase activities from 25 to 133 mug/ml of enzyme. The sporulating ratios did not differ greatly between the strains. The heat stability of the toxin was greater at 100 C than at 75 C. There was a noticeable difference between the heat stabilities of the toxin in the culture fluids of the heat-sensitive and heat-resistant strains at pH 7.0 when the toxic filtrates were held at 100 C. At a holding temperature of 75 C, a similar but lesser difference was observed at pH 5.5. Heat resistance and lecithinase activity did not change when a substrain of the least heat-resistant parent strain was obtained through heat selection by a single transfer, or when the most heat-resistant strain was transferred serially 12 times.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clostridium perfringens / enzymology*
  • Clostridium perfringens / metabolism*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mice
  • Phospholipases / metabolism*
  • Toxins, Biological / biosynthesis*


  • Toxins, Biological
  • Phospholipases