Clostridium perfringens strains from bovine enterotoxemia cases are not superior in in vitro production of alpha toxin, perfringolysin O and proteolytic enzymes
1 Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
2 Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Biology of Large Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:32 doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-32Published: 30 January 2014
Bovine enterotoxemia is a major cause of mortality in veal calves. Predominantly veal calves of beef cattle breeds are affected and losses due to enterotoxemia may account for up to 20% of total mortality. Clostridium perfringens type A is considered to be the causative agent. Recently, alpha toxin and perfringolysin O have been proposed to play an essential role in the development of disease. However, other potential virulence factors also may play a role in the pathogenesis of bovine enterotoxemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether strains originating from bovine enterotoxemia cases were superior in in vitro production of virulence factors (alpha toxin, perfringolysin O, mucinase, collagenase) that are potentially involved in enterotoxemia. To approach this, a collection of strains originating from enterotoxemia cases was compared to bovine strains isolated from healthy animals and to strains isolated from other animal species.
Strains originating from bovine enterotoxemia cases produced variable levels of alpha toxin and perfringolysin O that were not significantly different from levels produced by strains isolated from healthy calves and other animal species. All tested strains exhibited similar mucinolytic activity independent of the isolation source. A high variability in collagenase activity between strains could be observed, and no higher collagenase levels were produced in vitro by strains isolated from enterotoxemia cases.
Bovine enterotoxemia strains do not produce higher levels of alpha toxin, perfringolysin O, mucinase and collagenase, as compared to strains derived from healthy calves and other animal species in vitro.