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Willmar, MN, United States

Lancto C.A.,University of Minnesota | Lancto C.A.,1246 University Avenue W | Foster L.K.,University of Minnesota | Kromm M.M.,Jennie O Turkey Store | And 6 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2014

Clostridium septicum and its associated cytolytic α toxin, along with several other clostridial species, has been implicated as the causative agent of gangrenous dermatitis. A recombinant noncytolytic C. septicum α toxin (NCAT) peptide was developed for use as a vaccine and demonstrated to be safe at concentrations as high as 1 mg/ml. NCAT, used as a purified antigen, partially purified antigen, or in combination with native antigens, was compared to salt-fractionated α toxin combined with denatured C. septicum bacteria (native) in a vaccination trial. Three-day-old poults were placed into one of five groups and received two, 0.2-ml vaccinations 5 wk apart. Subcutaneous challenge with 3.2 × 107 log phase C. septicum resulted in 78% to 95% of the vaccinated birds surviving challenge compared to 48% of sham-injected controls. By ELISA analysis on NCAT-coated plates, birds receiving vaccines containing the recombinant NCAT peptide showed significantly higher blood serum antibody concentrations than did birds receiving vaccines containing native antigens or alum controls. Additionally, high levels of maternally transferred antibodies reactive to NCAT-purified antigens found in the pre-immune sera from naïve 3-day-old poults suggest that the tertiary structure of the NCAT peptide has a high homology to the native protein structure. In conclusion, our study showed that the use of a vaccine comprised of a noncytolytic recombinant α toxin peptide antigen provided clinical protection equal to the use of vaccines formulated with inactivated native proteins at a reduced overall cost. © 2014 American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source


Thachil A.J.,University of Minnesota | McComb B.,Willmar Poultry Company | Kromm M.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Nagaraja K.V.,University of Minnesota
Avian Diseases | Year: 2013

Clostridial dermatitis is an acute disease causing high mortality in turkeys. Both Clostridium septicum and Clostridium perfringens have been isolated from these cases; however, reports from several diagnostic laboratories indicate an increased isolation rate of C. septicum compared with C. perfringens from cases of clostridial dermatitis in recent years. Previous studies suggested C. septicum was more potent than C. perfringens in causing clostridial dermatitis in turkeys. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate the use of a C. septicum bacterin-toxoid to control clostridial dermatitis in turkeys. A C. septicum bacterin-toxoid was prepared and was initially tested in 6-wk-old commercial turkeys under laboratory conditions for its safety and efficacy. Subsequently, the bacterin-toxoid was evaluated for use in commercial turkey farms with a consistent history of clostridial dermatitis. Birds in the field were vaccinated subcutaneously once at 6 wk of age with C. septicum bacterin-toxoid, and then mortality in both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups was recorded and compared. Blood samples from birds in both groups were examined using ELISA to detect antibody response to the C. septicum toxoid. The C. septicum bacterin-toxoid was found to be safe and to elicit antibodies against the toxoid. In vaccinated commercial turkeys, control of clostridial dermatitis was achieved via antibiotic use and clostridial dermatitis mortality was significantly reduced compared with that of birds in the unvaccinated group. The C. septicum bacterin-toxoid seems to be a valuable tool for the turkey industry to reduce losses due to clostridial dermatitis. © American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source


Thachil A.J.,University of Minnesota | McComb B.,Willmar Poultry Company | Early M.M.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Heeder C.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Nagaraja K.V.,University of Minnesota
Journal of Applied Poultry Research | Year: 2012

Cellulitis has emerged as a major problem in the turkey industry over the last few years. Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium septicum are recognized as the causative agents for cellulitis in turkeys. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate the use of a bivalent C. perfringens and C. septicum toxoid to control cellulitis in commercial turkeys. A bivalent C. perfringens and C. septicum toxoid was prepared and tested in 6-wk-old commercial turkeys under laboratory conditions for its safety and efficacy. It was then evaluated for its use in 2 commercial turkey farms with a consistent history of cellulitis. The flock consisted of 16,000 birds, of which 8,000 birds were vaccinated and an equal number were kept as unvaccinated controls. The 2 groups were separated by wire mesh. The commercial birds were vaccinated once at 6 wk of age. The mortality in both groups was recorded and compared. Blood samples from birds in both groups were examined to detect the antibody response to C. perfringens and C. septicum toxoid by ELISA. The bivalent toxoid developed was found to be safe and effective. It produced antibodies that appeared protective. With vaccinated commercial turkeys, antibiotic use to control cellulitis was significantly less compared with birds in the unvaccinated group. The use of bivalent C. perfringens and C. septicum toxoid appears to be a valuable tool to reduce losses attributable to cellulitis in the turkey industry. © 2012 Poultry Science Association, Inc. Source


Clark S.,Alpharma LLC | Porter R.,Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory | McComb B.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Lippert R.,Willmar Poultry Company | And 3 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2010

Clostridial dermatitis of turkeys (CDT) has emerged as a major issue across most geographic regions of the United States. The prevalence and severity of dermatitis has increased over the last several years, since the time it was first reported in 1993. Cellulitis in poultry can be associated with Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli, but the more recent field situation in turkeys is specifically associated with Clostridium spp. The prevalence of cellulitis is relatively low; however, the disease can be devastating in the individual flocks affected. Clostridium septicum, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium sordelli, and S. aureus can cause cellulitis. Escherichia coli, Streptococcus spp., and other bacteria have occasionally been isolated from birds diagnosed with cellulitis. CDT appears as excessive mortality in older birds around 1618 weeks of age. It has been reported from field experience as early as 7 wk of age. Clinical signs of CDT can range from sudden death to inappetence, depression, leg weakness, recumbency, and ataxia. The disease is characterized by reddish to dark or greenish discoloration of the skin around the thighs, abdomen, keel, tail region, back, and wings. The lesions can extend into the underlying muscles, and there can be gas bubbles under the skin which result in crepitation. Some cases present with dead birds having "bubbly tail," fluid-filled blisters associated with broken feather follicles around the base of the tail. Bubbly tail in breeder toms might not cause excessive mortality, but the lesions are so severe that the birds cannot be used for semen collection. Incidence of mortality from this condition can be severe and acute (i.e., rapid onset of high mortality). The dead birds decompose very quickly. Microscopically, there is necrosis, with or without inflammation of the skin, especially in the dermis and occasionally in the skeletal muscles, associated with large numbers of rod-shaped bacteria. Overcrowding, aggressive birds, poorwet litter, decreased down time, a contaminated environment including feed and water, poor hygienic conditions, and contaminated vaccines and vaccine equipment, etc., can predispose birds for CDT. Preventative measures and treatment are discussed extensively in this review. © 2010 American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source


Thachil A.J.,University of Minnesota | McComb B.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Andersen M.M.,Jennie O Turkey Store | Shaw D.P.,University of Missouri | And 2 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2010

The role of Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium septicum in the development of cellulitis and mortality in turkey poults was examined. Studies were done in turkeys of two age groups: 3-wk-old and 7-wk-old turkey poults. The effect of varying doses of C. perfringens and C. septicum in reproducing cellulitis lesions and mortality in turkeys was investigated. Both in vitro and in vivo assays were conducted to study their toxic and biologic activities. Clostridium septicum spore culture was found to be more potent than that of C. perfringens in both in vitro assays, such as the hemolysis test, and in vivo assays in mice and turkeys. Both C. perfringens and C. septicum spore cultures were found to be capable of inducing cellulitis lesions and mortality in turkey poults when inoculated by subcutaneous route. Histopathology examination of affected tissues revealed a "moth-eaten appearance," with abundant growth of C. perfringens and C. septicum in the sarcomeres of muscle tissues and in the subcutaneous tissues. However, C. septicum was found to be more potent than C. perfringens in causing cellulitis lesions and mortality in turkeys. Thúree-week-old poults were found to be less susceptible than 7-wk-old poults in the development of cellulitis lesions and mortality after inoculation with either spore cultures of C. perfringens or C. septicum. The results of the current study suggest that although C. septicum is more potent in causing cellulitis lesions and mortality, infection with either C. septicum or C. perfringens can cause cellulitis lesions and mortality in turkeys. © 2010 American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source

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