Growth and alpha toxin production by a strain of Clostridium perfringens was determined in Thioglycollate medium, beef broth with ground beef, and beef broth with ground beef and soy protein. Incubation temperatures ranged from 15 to 50 C. In Thioglycollate medium, maximum alpha toxin production occurred at 35 C and was 40 times greater than that observed at 45 C. However, generation time and maximum population were approximately the same at 35 and 45 C. At 15 C, a two log cycle reduction in viable counts occurred within 6 h. Irrespective of incubation temperature, alpha toxin levels in Thioglycollate medium declined as the incubation period was extended beyond the stationary growth phase. In the beef broth with ground beef system which was studied at 35 C only, the organism grew slower and produced less toxin than in Thioglycollate medium. The amount of alpha toxin detected was influenced to a greater extent by the incubation time and temperature, the holding time beyond the stationary growth phase, and the growth medium than by the population level of C. perfringens.

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Author notes

1Approved as Journal Series Article 101-78, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster.