Ulcerative enterocolitis in two goats associated with enterotoxin- and beta2 toxin-positive Clostridium perfringens type D

Francisco A Uzal, Derek J. Fisher, Juliann Saputo, Sameera Sayeed, Bruce A. McClane, Glenn Songer, Hien T. Trinh, Mariano E Fernandez Miyakawa, Sharon Gard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Enterotoxemia caused by Clostridium perfringens type D in sheep is believed to result from the action of epsilon toxin (ETX). However, the sole role of ETX in the intestinal changes of the acute and chronic forms of enterotoxemia in goats remains controversial, and the synergistic action of other C. perfringens toxins has been suggested previously. The current study examined 2 goats that were found dead without premonitory clinical signs. Gross lesions at necropsy consisted of multifocal fibrinonecrotic enterocolitis, edematous lungs, and excess pleural fluid. Histologically, there were multifocal fibrinonecrotic and ulcerative ileitis and colitis, edema of the colonic serosa, and proteinaceous interstitial edema of the lungs. Clostridium perfringens type D carrying the genes for enterotoxin (CPE) and beta2 toxin (CPB2) was cultured from intestinal content and feces of 1 of 2 goats, while C. perfringens type D CPB2-positive was isolated from the other animal. When multiple colonies of the primary isolations from both animals were tested by Western blot, most of the isolates expressed CPB2, and only a few isolates from the first case expressed CPE. Alpha toxin and ETX were detected in ileal and colonic contents and feces of both animals by antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. CPB2, but not CPE, was identified in the small and large intestines of both goats by immunohistochemistry. These findings indicate that CPB2 may have contributed to the necrotic changes observed in the intestine, possibly assisting ETX transit across the intestinal mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Beta2
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Enterotoxemia
  • Enterotoxin
  • Epsilon toxin
  • Goats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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