Qualitative Detection Of Clostridium Perfringens Enterotoxin
Test applicable to: Companion and Farm Animals
The gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens belongs to the physiological intestinal flora of many mammals and is a facultative pathogenic. Inconvenient endogenous (other basic diseases, diarrhoea pathogens, antibiotic therapies with massive reduction of intestinal flora etc.) and exogeneous (farming conditions, extreme changes of the food, stress etc.) factors can lead to an increased pathogenicity of C. perfringens. In addition to its ability to form extremely infectious and stable spores, the formation of lethal toxins is crucial for its pathogenicity. The classification into the various types (A–E) is only due to the toxin formation.
Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Cause Mild to Lethal Conditions
These toxins can cause extremely variable (mild to lethal progression forms) failures of the intestinal water and electrolyte balance in the different species such as goat, sheep (e. g. dysentery of lambs: type B; pulpy kidney disease: type D), cattle (haemorrhagic enteritis: type A–E), foal (haemorrhagic necrotising enteritis: type A & C) and piglet (e. g. serous-catarrhal enteritis: type A, necrotising enteritis: type C).
CPE Detected More Often In Dogs
In the dog, especially serotype A occurs, producing 2 main toxins (toxin Alpha [α] and a Clostridia enterotoxin [CPE]), rarer serotype B (toxin Beta [β]). Both C. perfringens and its CPE can be detected also in healthy dog’s faeces. The CPE can be detected more often in dogs with diarrhoea compared to healthy dogs. CPE is more frequent in dogs with diarrhoea (haemorrhagic gastroenteritis, acute or chronic diarrhoea, enterotoxaemia) than in healthy dogs. Meanwhile for cats, reliable literature data concerning prevalence and clinical relevance are missing.
FASTest C. perfringens Toxins Allows Rapid Onsite Diagnosis
Detection is only by the presence of C. perfringens in the faeces, Clostridia is undiagnosable. In a study in Switzerland, 54 % of the C. perfringens isolated showed a reduced sensitivity towards metronidazole or 18 % towards tetracycline. Because there is a general risk of resistance formation, it is recommended to identify the triggering pathogen in principle. Finally, by its high sensitivity and specificity, the use of FASTest® C. perfringens Toxin allows the veterinarian a rapid aetiological on-site diagnosis of a C. perfringens infection, the quick initiation of therapy as well as of necessary quarantine and prophylaxis measures.
In summary, diarrhoea can have other causes. Therefore, it is generally advisable to use the species-specific parallel tests.
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