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Vet Microbiol. 2001 Sep 3;82(1):39-43.

PCR detection and prevalence of alpha-, beta-, beta 2-, epsilon-, iota- and enterotoxin genes in Clostridium perfringens isolated from lambs with clostridial dysentery.

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Laboratory of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, Thessaloniki GR-54006, Greece.


Clostridium perfringens isolated from lambs with dysentery (n=117) were analysed by a DNA amplification technique, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in order to determine the prevalence of the alpha-, beta-, beta 2-, epsilon-, iota- and enterotoxin genes. The most prevalent toxin type of C. perfringens found was type B, containing the alpha-, beta-, and epsilon-toxin genes, representing 46% of the cases with clostridial dysentery. C. perfringens type C containing the alpha-, and beta-toxin genes was isolated in 20% and type D, which is characterized by the alpha- and epsilon-toxin genes, was isolated in 28% of all isolates. The recently discovered, not yet assigned beta 2-toxigenic type of C. perfringens was represented in 6% of all isolates. No C. perfringens type A containing the alpha-toxin alone and no type E, which harbours the ADP-ribosylating iota-toxin, were found in the diseased animals. None of the samples contained the enterotoxin gene. Only one type of C. perfringens was found in a given herd, revealing the epidemiological use of PCR toxin gene typing of C. perfringens. The animals originated from 79 different herds with sizes ranging from 30 to 250 animals, bred in the area of northern Greece.

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