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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2007 May;19(3):329-33.

Toxinotypes of Clostridium perfringens isolated from sick and healthy avian species.

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California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, University of California Davis, Fresno Branch, 2789 South Orange Avenue, Fresno, CA 93725, USA.


Currently, the factors/toxins responsible for Clostridium perfringens-associated avian enteritis are not well understood. To assess whether specific C. perfringens' toxinotypes are associated with avian enteritis, the isolates of C. perfringens from 31 cases of avian necrotic or ulcerative enteritis submitted between 1997 and 2005 were selected for retrospective analysis using multiplex PCR. C. perfringens was isolated from chickens, turkeys, quail, and psittacines. The toxinotypes of isolates from diseased birds were compared against the toxinotype of 19 C. perfringens isolates from avian cases with no evidence of clostridial enteritis. All C. perfringens isolates were classified as type A regardless of species or disease history. Although many isolates (from all avian groups) had the gene encoding the C. perfirngens beta2 toxin, only 54% produced the toxin in vitro when measured using Western blot analysis. Surprisingly, a large number of healthy birds (90%) carried CPB2-producing isolates, whereas over half of the cpb2-positive isolates from diseased birds failed to produce CPB2. These data from this investigation do not suggest a causal relationship between beta2 toxin and necrotic enteritis in birds.

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