Virulence for chickens of Clostridium perfringens isolated from poultry and other sources

Kerry K. Cooper, James R. Theoret, Bernard A. Stewart, Hien T. Trinh, Robert D. Glock, J. Glenn Songer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Clostridium perfringens type A is the most common cause of poultry necrotic enteritis (NE). Of the four " major" toxins, type A strains produce only alpha toxin (CPA), which has long been considered a major factor in pathogenesis of NE. We investigated the virulence for poultry of type A strains from a variety of enteric sources. Newly-hatched Cornish×Rock chicks were fed a low protein diet for one week, a high protein diet for a second week, and then challenged with log-phase cultures of C. perfringens, mixed 3:4 (v/v) with high protein feed. Strain JGS4143 [genotype A, beta2 positive (cpb2pos), from a field case of NE] produced gross lesions compatible with NE in >85% of challenged birds. However, strains JGS1714 (enterotoxigenic genotype A, cpb2pos, human food poisoning), JGS1936 (genotype A, cpb2neg, bovine neonatal enteritis), JGS4142 (genotype A, cpb2pos, bovine jejunal hemorrhage syndrome), JGS1473 (genotype A, cpb2pos, chicken normal flora), JGS1070 (genotype C, cpb2pos, porcine hemorrhagic enteritis), JGS1882 (genotype A, cpb2pos, porcine neonatal enteritis), JGS1120 (ATCC 13124, genotype A, cpb2neg, gas gangrene), JGS4151 (strain 13, genotype A, cpb2pos, canine), and JGS4303 (SM101, enterotoxigenic genotype A, cpb2neg, human food poisoning) failed to produce disease. In vivo passage failed to increase virulence of the non-NE strains. NE strains must have specific poultry-associated virulence attributes, such as the recently identified NetB and other factors, which allow for the development of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Broiler chickens
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Necrotic enteritis
  • Poultry
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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