Virulence of Clostridium perfringens in an experimental model of poultry necrotic enteritis
ABSTRACT Poultry necrotic enteritis (NE) has, over recent decades, been prevented and treated by addition of antimicrobials to poultry feed. Recent bans of antimicrobial growth promoters in feed, as well as other factors, have led to a slow, worldwide re-emergence of NE. Understanding of pathogenesis of NE has been hampered by lack of a consistent and effective experimental model in which virulence of strains can be reliably evaluated, with an endpoint yielding lesions comparable to those seen in acute NE in the field. The overall objective of this work was to develop an experimental approach that would allow consistent production of a full range of clinical signs and lesions of the disease, and to do so without use of coccidia as inciting agents. In addition, we assessed the virulence of strains of Clostridium perfringens from field cases of NE. Broiler chicks fed a commercial chick starter for 7 days post-hatch were switched to a high protein feed mixed 50:50 with fishmeal for an additional 7 days. On day 14, feed was withheld for 20 h, and birds were then offered feed mixed with C. perfringens (3 parts culture to 4 parts feed) twice daily on 4 consecutive days. On average, >75% of challenged birds developed typical gross lesions when inoculated with type A strains from field cases of NE. In addition, in vivo passage apparently increases strain virulence. Virulence varies from strain-to-strain; NetB-producing strains were virulent, as were some NetB non-producing strains.
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ABSTRACT: NetB (necrotic enteritis toxin B) is a recently identified β-pore-forming toxin produced by Clostridium perfringens. This toxin has been shown to play a major role in avian necrotic enteritis. In recent years, a dramatic increase in necrotic enteritis has been observed, especially in countries where the use of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal feedstuffs has been banned. The aim of this work was to determine whether immunisation with a NetB toxoid would provide protection against necrotic enteritis. The immunisation of poultry with a formaldehyde NetB toxoid or with a NetB genetic toxoid (W262A) resulted in the induction of antibody responses against NetB and provided partial protection against disease.Vaccine 05/2013; 31(37). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.05.063 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Necrotic enteritis (NE) caused by Clostridium perfringens is a reemerging disease of economic importance in areas of the world where antibiotic growth promoters have been banned. The effect of mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS) supplementation in organic diets of broilers challenged with C. perfringens on performance, gut morphology, and innate immunity was investigated. Three hundred Ross-308 broilers were fed antibiotic-free certified organic starter and grower diets. On d 14, birds were orally challenged with 1 mL of C. perfringens culture at 3 × 10(10) cfu/bird. Treatments consisted of a control no-challenge (CO; 0 g/kg of MOS in the basal diet), control challenge (COC, 0 g/kg of MOS in the basal diet), and MOS challenge (2 g/kg of MOS in the basal diet). Challenge of birds resulted in decreased feed intake and BW gain (P = 0.048 and P = 0.026, respectively). Even though supplementation of diet with MOS improved feed intake (P = 0.985), BW gain and G:F were not improved compared with those of the CO group (P = 0.026 and P = <0.001, respectively). There was no significant difference among treatments in jejunal and ileal villus height, crypt depth, and goblet cells/mm(2) (P > 0.05). Quantitative real-time PCR showed that, in the ileum, the MOS diet resulted in an upregulation of toll-like receptor (TLR)2b, TLR4, interleukin (IL)-12p35, and interferon (IFN)-γ compared with CO (P = 0.003, P = 0.018, and P = 0.024, respectively). In the cecal tonsil, challenging birds with C. perfringens resulted in an upregulation of TLR2b compared with CO (P = 0.036), and MOS resulted in an upregulation of TLR4 (P = 0.018). In conclusion, feeding a MOS-supplemented diet to C. perfringens-challenged broiler chickens did not improve performance and gut morphology-associated responses. However, MOS was capable of altering TLR and cytokine profiles, where dual TLR2 and TLR4 pathways were associated with MOS supplementation with subsequent upregulation of ileal IL-12p35 and IFN-γ, implying that MOS supplementation in C. perfringens-challenged chickens supports a proinflammatory effect via T-helper cell-1 associated pathways.Poultry Science 05/2012; 91(5):1105-12. DOI:10.3382/ps.2011-02109 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Necrotic enteritis is a disease of considerable economic importance to the global poultry industry. Clostridium perfringens has long been recognised as the etiological agent of the disease. However, disease initiation and progression is complex and appears to be precipitated by a range of predisposing factors. The present study investigated microbial interactions in the caecum of birds challenged with C. perfringens that developed necrotic enteritis. Bacterial populations of healthy and diseased birds, across two independent animal trials, were characterised by pyrosequencing of the V1-V3 region of 16S rRNA genes. Significant changes in the microbiota of infected birds were detected. Most of the affected bacterial species, including a number of butyrate producers, were reduced in abundance in infected birds compared to uninfected controls and a number of phylotypes, classified as Weissella species, were also more abundant in healthy birds. Conversely, some bacterial groups were more abundant in the C. perfringens-infected birds, for example, members of an unclassified order of Mollicutes showed a 3.7-fold increase in abundance in infected birds. Representative sequences from this novel order shared 99% identity with sequences previously detected in intestinal microbiota of chickens and humans, and have previously been shown to be represented in a number of samples originating from irritable bowel syndrome disease patients. We speculate that these newly identified perturbations in the composition of caecal microflora may play a role in the development and manifestation of necrotic enteritis.Veterinary Microbiology 03/2012; 159(1-2):155-62. DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.03.032 · 2.73 Impact Factor