Characterization of cytolethal distending toxin of Campylobacter species isolated from captive macaque monkeys

Rohana P. Dassanayake, You Zhou, Susanne Hinkley, Cynthia J. Stryker, Gail Plauche, Juan T. Borda, Karol Sestak, Gerald E. Duhamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


An association between certain Campylobacter species and enterocolitis in humans and nonhuman primates is well established, but the association between cytolethal distending toxin and disease is incompletely understood. The purpose of the present study was to examine Campylobacter species isolated from captive conventionally raised macaque monkeys for the presence of the cdtB gene and for cytolethal distending toxin activity. The identity of each isolate was confirmed on the basis of phenotypic and genotypic analyses. The presence of cytolethal distending toxin was confirmed on the basis of characteristic morphological changes in HeLa cells incubated with filter-sterilized whole-cell lysates of reference and monkey Campylobacter isolates and examinations by light microscopy, confocal microscopy, and flow cytometry. Although cdtB gene sequences were found in both Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, the production of cytolethal distending toxin correlated positively (P < 0.0001) only with C. jejuni. We concluded that cytolethal distending toxin activity is a characteristic of C. jejuni. Our C. jejuni cdtB gene-specific PCR assay might be of assistance for differentiating toxigenic C. jejuni from C. coli in clinical laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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