TpeL-producing strains of Clostridium perfringens type A are highly virulent for broiler chicks

C. F. Coursodon, R. D. Glock, K. L. Moore, K. K. Cooper, J. G. Songer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Clostridium perfringens type A and type C are causative agents of necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry. TpeL, a recently-described novel member of the family of large clostridial cytotoxins, was found in C. perfringens type C. Others have since reported TpeL in type A isolates from NE outbreaks, suggesting that it may contribute to the pathogenesis of NE. The virulence of TpeL-positive and -negative C. perfringens strains from cases of NE was examined by challenge of broiler chicks. Gross lesions typical of NE were observed in all challenged birds, and those inoculated with TpeL pos strains had higher average macroscopic lesion scores than those inoculated with a TpeL neg strain. Infection with TpeL pos strains may yield disease with a more rapid course and higher case fatality rate. Thus, TpeL may potentiate the effect of other virulence attributes of NE strains of C. perfringens. However, TpeL pos and Tpel neg strains compared here were not isogenic, and definitive results await the production and testing of specific TpeL mutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Broiler chickens
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Necrotic enteritis
  • Pathogenesis
  • TpeL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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