Determination of Clostridium perfringens Toxin-Types in Sheep with Suspected Enterotoxemia in Kars Province, Turkey


Abstract: The study was designed to determine the types of Clostridium perfringens and their toxins in sheep with suspected enterotoxemia in Kars province. For this purpose, 260 dead sheep with suspected enterotoxemia and 35 clinically healthy sheep (controls) of different ages and breeds were used. Intestinal contents of each sheep were collected and used to determine alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins of C. perfringens using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the latex agglutination test (LAT). Based on ELISA and LAT, 220 (84.61%) and 152 (58.46%) sheep, respectively, were positive for C. perfringens toxins. In contrast, 40 (15.38%) sheep were toxin-negative based on ELISA and 108 (41.53%) were toxin-negative based on LAT. With ELISA, 104 (47.27%), 20 (9.09%), 10 (4.54%), and 86 (39.07%) toxin-positive samples were identified as C. perfringens type A, B, C, and D, respectively, whereas with LAT, 79 (51.97%), 15 (9.86%), 7 (4.60%), and 51 (33.55%) toxin-positive samples were identified as type A, B, C, and D, respectively. C. perfringens type A and type D were the dominant types detected by both tests in sheep with suspected enterotoxemia, in Kars province. It is concluded that enterotoxemia causes considerable economic loss to the sheep industry in Kars province, where 300,000 sheep are present. Therefore, it is recommended that a proper vaccination schedule against enterotoxemia be implemented for flocks in Kars province. These vaccines should provide adequate protective immunity against both C. perfringens type A and type D.

Keywords: Sheep, Clostridium perfringens, alpha toxin, beta toxin, epsilon toxin, enterotoxaemia, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), latex agglutination test (LAT)

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