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Comparison of the odds of isolation, genotypes, and in vivo production of major toxins by Clostridium perfringens obtained from the gastrointestinal tract of dairy cows with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome or left-displaced abomasum

Anita C. DennisonDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.
Present address is Los Caballos Veterinary Hospital, 43250 Los Corralitos Rd, Temecula, CA 92592.

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David C. Van MetreDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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Paul S. MorleyDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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Robert J. CallanDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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Emily C. PlampinDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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R. P. EllisDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare the frequency of isolation, genotypes, and in vivo production of major lethal toxins of Clostridium perfringens in adult dairy cows affected with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) versus left-displaced abomasum (LDA).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—10 adult dairy cattle with HBS (cases) and 10 adult dairy cattle with LDA matched with cases by herd of origin (controls).

Procedure—Samples of gastrointestinal contents were obtained from multiple sites during surgery or necropsy examination. Each sample underwent testing for anaerobic bacteria by use of 3 culture methods. The genotype of isolates of C perfringens was determined via multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. Major lethal toxins were detected by use of an ELISA. Data were analyzed with multivariable logistic regression and X2 analysis.

ResultsC perfringens type A and type A with the beta2 gene (A + beta2) were the only genotypes isolated. Isolation of C perfringens type A and type A + beta2 was 6.56 and 3.3 times as likely, respectively, to occur in samples from cattle with HBS than in cattle with LDA. Alpha toxin was detected in 7 of 36 samples from cases and in 0 of 32 samples from controls. Beta2 toxin was detected in 9 of 36 samples from cases and 0 of 36 samples from controls.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceC perfringens type A and type A + beta2 can be isolated from the gastrointestinal tract with significantly greater odds in cattle with HBS than in herdmates with LDA. Alpha and beta2 toxins were detected in samples from cows with HBS but not from cows with LDA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:132–138)

Abstract

Objective—To compare the frequency of isolation, genotypes, and in vivo production of major lethal toxins of Clostridium perfringens in adult dairy cows affected with hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) versus left-displaced abomasum (LDA).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—10 adult dairy cattle with HBS (cases) and 10 adult dairy cattle with LDA matched with cases by herd of origin (controls).

Procedure—Samples of gastrointestinal contents were obtained from multiple sites during surgery or necropsy examination. Each sample underwent testing for anaerobic bacteria by use of 3 culture methods. The genotype of isolates of C perfringens was determined via multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. Major lethal toxins were detected by use of an ELISA. Data were analyzed with multivariable logistic regression and X2 analysis.

ResultsC perfringens type A and type A with the beta2 gene (A + beta2) were the only genotypes isolated. Isolation of C perfringens type A and type A + beta2 was 6.56 and 3.3 times as likely, respectively, to occur in samples from cattle with HBS than in cattle with LDA. Alpha toxin was detected in 7 of 36 samples from cases and in 0 of 32 samples from controls. Beta2 toxin was detected in 9 of 36 samples from cases and 0 of 36 samples from controls.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceC perfringens type A and type A + beta2 can be isolated from the gastrointestinal tract with significantly greater odds in cattle with HBS than in herdmates with LDA. Alpha and beta2 toxins were detected in samples from cows with HBS but not from cows with LDA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:132–138)