C. perfringens is a gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium that is classified into 5 toxinotypes (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the 4 major toxins they produce.1 The toxins are common causes of diarrhea, enterocolitis (inflammation of the small and large intestine), enterotoxemia, and colitis (inflammation of the colon) in horses, goats, pigs, and cattle.2 Normally, C. perfringens are nonpathogenic and present in the gastrointestinal tract in low numbers. However, antibiotics use, dietary imbalances, and other stressors may cause overgrowth of C. perfringens, leading to GI diseases.3 The disease may occur sporadically or as an outbreak, and clinically affected neonatal foals have high risk of rapid death. Because nonpathogenic serotypes are common, diagnosis is based on identification of toxigenic C. perfringens in fecal samples, PCR detection for toxin-producing genes is recommended.4 Fluxing’s rapid detection test is pathogen toxin specific and provides reliable detection in a point-of-use format.
- Uzal, F. A., Vidal, J. E., McClane, B. A., & Gurjar, A. A. (2010). Clostridium perfringens toxins involved in mammalian veterinary diseases. The open toxinology journal, 2, 24.
- Silva, R. O. S., Oliveira Junior, C. A., Guedes, R. M. C., & Lobato, F. C. F. (2015). Clostridium perfringens: a review of the disease in pigs, horses and broiler chickens. Ciência Rural, 45(6), 1027-1034.
- Traub-Dargatz, J. L., & Jones, R. L. (1993). Clostridia-associated enterocolitis in adult horses and foals. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, 9(2), 411-421.
- Allison J. Stewart, Clostridia-associated Enterocolitis in Horses. Merck Veterinary Manual.