ABSTRACT: The main aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and ribotypes of Clostridium perfringens in broiler flocks reared in 2 European countries that apply European Union Regulation 1831/2003. A total of 1,532 cecum contents were collected between June 2005 and November 2006 from birds belonging to 51 intensively reared flocks produced in the Czech Republic and 41 intensive production, organic, and free-range flocks reared in Italy. Clostridium perfringens was detected in 64.7 and 82.9% of the Czech Republic and Italian flocks, respectively, at mean loads ranging between 3.65 and 4.77 log10 cfu per gram of cecum content. More than 1 ribotype was identified among isolates belonging to the same flock in 57.1 and 76.5% of the Czech Republic and Italian flocks, respectively. Moreover, common ribotypes were identified between strains belonging to 2 up to 8 different flocks. In particular, 4 ribotypes were shared between strains isolated in the 2 European countries. The results of this study report on C. perfringens occurrence and mean populations in broilers reared on diets devoid of antibiotic growth promoters. Moreover, these findings show for the first time the presence of common ribotyping profiles among isolates collected from birds reared more than 1,000 km apart.
Poultry Science 10/2009; 88(9):1850-7. · 1.73 Impact Factor