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Vet Microbiol. 2015 Jun 12;177(3-4):398-402. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.03.012. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Occurrence of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin in chronic disease of dairy cows.

Author information

1
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses, Naumburger Straße 96a, 07743 Jena, Germany. Electronic address: christian.seyboldt@fli.bund.de.
2
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses, Naumburger Straße 96a, 07743 Jena, Germany.
3
Department of Biometry, Epidemiology and Information Processing, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Buenteweg 2, 30559 Hannover, Germany.
4
Clinic for Cattle, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany.
5
Institute of Food Quality and Food Safety, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

Botulism caused by neurotoxins of Clostridium (C.) botulinum is a rare, but serious life-threatening disease in humans and animals. Botulism in livestock is usually caused by the oral uptake of C. botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) via contaminated feed and is characterized by flaccid paralysis. In the recent past a new syndrome caused by BoNT in dairy cattle was postulated. It was supposed that C. botulinum is able to colonize the lower intestine and may subsequently produce neurotoxin. The continuous resorption of small amounts of these BoNT may then provoke the so called syndrome of "chronic" or "visceral" botulism involving unspecific clinical symptoms, reduced performance of dairy cows and massive animal losses in the affected herd. To test this hypothesis a case-control study was conducted involving 92 affected farms and 47 control farms located in Northern Germany. Fecal samples of 1388 animals were investigated for the presence of BoNT to verify the key requirement of the hypothesis of chronic botulism. BoNT was not detected in any of the fecal samples using the most sensitive standard method for BoNT detection, the mouse bioassay. Therefore, the existence of "chronic" or "visceral" botulism could not be proven.

KEYWORDS:

Botulism; Chronic disease; Clostridium botulinum; Dairy herds

PMID:
25882532
DOI:
10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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