Author(s): Glenn Songer J, Miskimins DW
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Abstract Infections by Clostridium perfringens type A are perhaps the most common causes of clostridial hemorrhagic enteritis in neonatal ruminants. Affected calves exhibit tympany, hemorrhagic abomasitis, and abomasal ulceration. Gram-positive bacilli are often found on affected mucosa and in submucosa. Aspects of etiology beyond the infecting organism are little understood, but probably include dietary issues, perhaps relating to overfeeding, feeding of barely thawed or contaminated colostrum, or conditions which effect decreased gut motility. Fatal hemorrhagic enteritis in a cloned gaur calf is illustrative of the syndrome. The calf developed pasty yellow and bloody diarrhea, and the abdomen became distended and painful. In spite of intensive therapy, the calf died approximately 48 h after birth. At necropsy, the distended abomasum contained clotted milk and bloody fluid, and the abomasal and omasal walls were thickened and hemorrhagic. The proximal duodenum was hemorrhagic and emphysematous, and microscopic examination revealed Gram-positive rods in association with acute, necrotizing, hemorrhagic mucosal inflammation. Isolates of C. perfringens from this calf were PCR positive for cpb2, the gene encoding beta2 toxin. This finding is of unknown significance; only 14.3\% (8/56) of isolates from other calves with the syndrome have been cpb2 positive, and only 50\% of cpb2 positive bovine isolates express CPB2. The most prominent needs to further our understanding of this problem are consistent experimental reproduction of the disease, elucidation of virulence attributes, and development and application of prevention and control strategies.
This article was published in Anaerobe
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology