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J Vet Intern Med. 2017 Jan;31(1):158-163. doi: 10.1111/jvim.14624. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Duodenitis-Proximal Jejunitis in Horses After Experimental Administration of Clostridium difficile Toxins.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.
2
Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Duodenitis-proximal jejunitis (DPJ) is an acute sporadic gastrointestinal disorder of horses of unknown cause.

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES:

We hypothesize that Clostridium difficile toxins are involved in the pathogenesis of DPJ in horses. The objective of this study was to determine whether experimentally delivered C. difficile toxins cause clinical signs and histologic lesions similar to those of naturally occurring DPJ.

ANIMALS:

Six healthy mature mixed breed horses.

METHODS:

Experimental study: animal model of animal disease. Fasted horses were administered crude C. difficile toxins via gastroscopy and monitored for up to 48 hour. Blood was collected for complete blood cell count, biochemistry profile, and plasma fibrinogen assay, and abdominal fluid was collected for cytologic analysis and total solids before and after toxin administration. Physical examination and abdominal ultrasonography were performed throughout the study period. Tissues were collected from the gastrointestinal tract and processed for routine histologic analysis, and lesions were scored.

RESULTS:

Clinical signs were observed in 2 of 6 horses that are typical although not specific for horses with naturally occurring DPJ. Histopathologic lesions were observed in 6 of 6 horses and were similar to those reported in horses with naturally occurring DPJ. Two horses were severely affected.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

Duodenitis-proximal jejunitis is likely a syndrome with multiple causes that result in the same clinical and pathologic findings, and our data suggest that the toxins of C. difficile represent one cause of this syndrome. Toxin dose and variation in individual animal susceptibility might affect the clinical signs and lesions after administration of C. difficile toxins.

KEYWORDS:

Enteritis; Exotoxins; Gastrointestinal

PMID:
27906466
PMCID:
PMC5259639
DOI:
10.1111/jvim.14624
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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