Effects of intravenous injection of Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin in calves

Francisco A Uzal, W. R. Kelly, W. E. Morris, R. A. Assis

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51 Scopus citations


In cattle, a neurological lesion similar to that produced in sheep and goats by Clostridium perfringens type D enterotoxaemia has been reported. However, no causal relationship has been established between this disease and the lesion in cattle. The effects of single and multiple intravenous injections of epsilon toxin in three calves aged 6 months were studied. A further calf was inoculated intravenously with saline solution and used as a control. Epsilon toxin invariably produced neurological signs within 2-60 min of the end of the injection process. Clinical signs consisted of loss of consciousness, recumbency, convulsions, paddling, opisthotonus, hyperaesthesia and dyspnoea. Gross changes consisted of severe acute pulmonary oedema, which was particularly marked in the interlobular septa. The histological lesions consisted of intra-alveolar and interstitial oedema of the lung and variable degrees of perivascular proteinaceous oedema in the internal capsule, thalamus and cerebellar white matter. No clinical or post-mortem changes were observed in the control calf. These results show that calves are susceptible to the intravenous injection of epsilon toxin, and that they can show at least some of the histological lesions produced in sheep and goats by this toxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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