Clostridial enteric infections in pigs

J. Glenn Songer, Francisco A Uzal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Clostridium perfringens types A and C and Clostridium difficile are the principal enteric clostridial pathogens of swine. History, clinical signs of disease, and gross and microscopic findings form the basis for a presumptive diagnosis of C. perfringens type-C enteritis. Confirmation is based on isolation of large numbers of type-C C. perfringens and/or detection of beta toxin in intestinal contents. Diagnosis of C. perfringens type-A infection, however, remains controversial, mostly because the condition has not been well defined and because type-A organisms and their most important major (alpha) toxin can be found in intestinal contents of healthy and diseased pigs. Isolation of large numbers of C. perfringens type A from intestinal contents, in the absence of other enteric pathogens, is the most reliable criterion on which to base a diagnosis. Recently, beta2 (CPB2) toxin-producing C. perfringens type A has been linked to disease in piglets and other animals. However, implication of CPB2 in pathogenesis of porcine infections is based principally on isolation of C. perfringens carrying cpb2, the gene encoding CPB2, and the specific role of CPB2 in enteric disease of pigs remains to be fully defined. Clostridium difficile can also be a normal inhabitant of the intestine of healthy pigs, and diagnosis of enteric infection with this microorganism is based on detection of its toxins in feces or intestinal contents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-536
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Clostridium difficile
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Enteric infection
  • Necrotic enteritis
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Clostridial enteric infections in pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this