Clostridium perfringens Toxins (Enterotoxeamia)
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Tuesday, 20th December 2022

The overgrowth and production of toxins by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens is a common cause of death in angora goats. The effects and toxins involved in goats are poorly understood.

Different toxins can be produced by the different Clostridium perfringens types resulting in the overlap in the presentation and clinical signs of the disease. Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive anaerobic rod that is classified into 5 toxino types (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the production of 4 major toxins, namely alpha, beta, epsilon and iota. However, C.perfringens can produce up to 16 toxins in various combinations.

The term ‘Enterotoxaemia’ may therefore be a better description of the Clostridium perfringens type of diseases as a definitive diagnosis may require isolation of the toxin and bacterial culture although histopathology will help make a presumptive diagnosis.

That is why producers must understand that the conditions such ‘Rooiderm’ is a descriptive term for a syndrome as it may be the result of toxins produced by C. perf A, B or C.

‘Necrotic enteritis’ is another example which may also be the result of the toxins produced by Clostridium perf A, B or C
The Clostridium perfringens types produce 3 lethal toxins important in Angora goats (alpha, beta, epsilon). Each one of these produce a number of less lethal toxins. These can be produced alone or in combination.

These toxins cause diseases as a result of their local effect on the intestine or as a consequence of the absorbed toxins.




Infectious diseases of livestock, J.Coetzer, G,Thomson, R.Tustin

Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Involved in Mammalian Veterinary Diseases,F. A. Uzal, J. E. Vidal, B. A. McClane,A. A. Gurjar


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