The Epidemiology of Clostridium perfringens type A on Swine Farms in Ontario and the Perceived Role in Neonatal Piglet Enteritis




Chan, Gloria

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University of Guelph


To study the distribution of Clostridium perfringens and toxin genes, 48 swine farms were visited and 354 fecal samples were collected. The isolates recovered from lactating sows, gestating sows, grower-finishers, and manure pits were less likely to possess consensus gene cpb2 compared to those from suckling pigs (P<0.05). The relative importance of different pathogens associated with neonatal piglet diarrhea was identified. A total of 237 neonatal diarrhea cases were submitted to the Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph between 2001 and 2010. The combined frequencies for cases involving enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens type A, rotavirus, and Clostridium difficile accounted for 56% of the total cases. A survey was administered to 22 practitioners and 17 pathologists for the diagnosis of C. perfringens type A. The majority (95%) of practitioners were moderately to very confident of their diagnosis, but almost half (41%) of the pathologists were not confident of their diagnosis.



pig, epidemiology, passive laboratory surveillance, gastrointestinal illness, clostridium perfringens