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).
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.
Results—C 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 Relevance—C 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)