Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a devastating enteric disease caused by Clostridium perfringens type A/G, which affects global poultry industry by compromising the performance, health, and welfare of chickens. The causative main virulent factor responsible for NE pathogenesis has been shifted from a phospholipase C portion of an α-toxin, to an NE B-like (NetB) toxin, a plasmid-encoded pore-forming heptameric protein, in NE development. Therefore, the ability to detect NetB toxin will enable early diagnosis of field NE. Because the NetB protein can only be detected by western blot analysis with polyclonal anti-NetB antiserum, we developed a NetB-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb)–based capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Twenty mAbs reacting with Escherichia coli–expressed NetB protein were selected, isotyped, and conjugated with horseradish peroxidase for antibody pair tests. Multiple mAb pairs were found to detect E. coli NetB protein and native NetB protein secreted by netB-positive C. perfringens isolates. The developed capture (sandwich) ELISA could be useful to identify in vitro production of native NetB protein secreted from netB-positive field C. perfringens isolates and to conduct a large field test of commercial chickens undergoing NE infection. Here, we first report that native NetB toxin can be detected in C. perfringens NetB-specific mAb-based capture ELISA.

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