Genome analysis of Clostridium perfringens isolates from healthy and necrotic enteritis infected chickens and turkeys

Troels Ronco, Marc Stegger, Kim Lee Ng, Berit Lilje, Ulrike Lyhs, Paal Skytt Andersen, Karl Pedersen

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    Objective: Clostridium perfringens causes gastrointestinal diseases in both humans and domestic animals. Type A strains expressing the NetB toxin are the main cause of necrotic enteritis (NE) in chickens, which has remarkable impact on animal welfare and production economy in the international poultry industry. Three pathogenicity loci NELoc-1, -2 and -3 and a collagen adhesion gene cnaA have been found to be associated with NE in chickens, whereas the presence of these has not been investigated in diseased turkeys. The purpose was to investigate the virulence associated genome content and the genetic relationship among 30 C. perfringens isolates from both healthy and NE infected chickens and turkeys, applying whole-genome sequencing. Results: NELoc-1, -3, netB and cnaA were significantly associated with NE isolates from chickens, whereas only NELoc-2 was commonly observed in both diseased turkeys and chickens. A putative collagen adhesion gene that encodes a von Willebrand Factor (vWF) domain was identified in all diseased turkeys and designated as cnaD. The phylogenetic analysis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms showed that the isolates generally were not closely related. These results indicate that virulence factors and pathogenicity loci associated with NE in chickens are not important to the same extent in diseased turkeys except for NELoc-2. A putative collagen adhesion gene which potentially could be of importance in regard to the NE pathogenesis in turkeys was identified and need to be further investigated. Thus, the pathogenesis of NE in turkeys appears to be different from that of broiler chickens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number270
    JournalBMC Research Notes
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    • Genome analysis
    • Necrotic enteritis
    • Poultry
    • Virulence factors

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