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J Comp Pathol. 2000 Feb-Apr;122(2-3):193-200.

Sarcina -like bacteria, Clostridium fallax and Clostridium sordellii in lambs with abomasal bloat, haemorrhage and ulcers.

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Department of Sheep and Goat Research, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Kyrkjevegen, Sandnes, 332/334,4325, Norway.


A study of abomasal disease in lambs aged 2-5 weeks, made during the period 1993-1998, included 67 cases and 45 non-affected controls. Gross pathological findings included various combinations of bloat, haemorrhage and ulcers in the abomasum. Sarcina -like bacteria were found in sections and smears from the abomasum of 79% (53/67) of the cases. From one case, a lamb with abomasal bloat, the anaerobic "packet"-forming Sarcina ventriculi was cultivated from the abomasal contents and identified by biochemical reactions and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Sarcina -like bacteria were observed microscopically in specimens from 94% (44/47) of the lambs with abomasal gas and in 45% (9/20) of those with ulcers or haemorrhage or both but little gas. On culture, abomasal contents from 41 cases yielded Clostridium fallax from 16 (39%) and Clostridium sordellii from eight (20%); abomasal cultures from 30 control lambs were negative for the three bacterial species. Quantitative cultivation, carried out on abomasal contents from live lambs and lambs dead </=3 h, showed that Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus spp. were present in the majority of both cases and controls, with no significant differences in the mean numbers.

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