Focal symmetrical encephalomalacia (FSE) is the most prominent lesion seen in the chronic form of enterotoxemia by Clostridium perfringens type D. This paper reports FSE in sheep in Brazil. Six deaths occurred within a seven days period in a flock of 70, four to 30-month-old Santa Inês sheep in the state of Paraíba in the Brazilian semiarid. The flock was grazing a paddock of irrigated sprouting Cynodon dactylon (Tifton grass), and supplemented, ad libitum, with a concentrate of soybean, corn and wheat. Nervous signs included blindness and recumbence. A 19 month-old sheep was examined clinically and necropsied after a clinical course of three days. Gross lesions were herniation of the cerebellar vermis and multifocal, bilateral, symmetric brownish areas in the internal capsule, thalamus and cerebellar peduncles. Histologic lesions were multifocal, bilateral malacia with some neutrophils, swelling of blood vessels endothelium, perivascular edema, and hemorrhages. The flock was vaccinated, before the outbreak, with only one dose of Clostridium perfringens type D vaccine. Two factors are suggested to be important for the occurrence of the disease: insufficient immunity due to the incorrect vaccination; and high nutritional levels by the supplementation with highly fermentable carbohydrates.
- Clostridium perfringens type D
- Epsilon toxin
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