Clostridium perfringens type A beta2 toxin in elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) and pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) with haemorrhagic enteritis in Assam, India


Arunava Das, Yahya Mazumder*, Biman K. Dutta , Bibek R. Shome, Komal M. Bujarbaruah and Gauri D. Sharma

This paper reported the investigation of haemorrhagic enteritis in female elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) and pygmy hog (Sus salvanius) at the Assam State Zoo, Guwahati, Assam, India. An eight year old female elephant and two and half year old female pygmy hog developed haemorrhagic enteritis of unknown cause maintained at the zoo died within four days. Bacteriological investigation revealed that the causative agent Clostridium perfringens was associated with the disease. Erythromycin, clindamycin and metronidazole were effective, however, ampicillin or penicillin G was more effective and probably the drug of choice for C. perfringens associated haemorrhagic enteritis. Isolates derived from elephant harboured four plasmids (4.1, 14.4, 38.8 and 48.2 kb), while that from pygmy hog carried two plasmids (42.8 and 51.9 kb) . PCR analysis of C. perfringens isolates revealed presence of alpha toxin gene (cpa) and beta2 toxin gene (cpb2). None of the isolates were positive for beta, epsilon, iota and enterotoxin genes. The sequence analysis of partial cpa gene showed 98.6 to 100% homology among the isolates studied. The study confirmed the involvement of beta2 toxin producing C. perfringens type A associated with the haemorrhagic enteritis. 

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