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Leipig-Rudolph, Miriam; Busch, Kathrin; Prescott, John F.; Gohari, Iman Mehdizadeh; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Hermanns, Walter; Wolf, Georg; Hartmann, Katrin; Verspohl, Jutta; Unterer, Stefan (2018): Intestinal lesions in dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome associated with netF-positive Clostridium perfringens type A. In: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, Vol. 30, No. 4: pp. 495-503
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Abstract

Acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS), formerly named canine hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, is one of the most common causes of acute hemorrhagic diarrhea in dogs, and is characterized by acute onset of diarrhea, vomiting, and hemoconcentration. To date, histologic examinations have been limited to postmortem specimens of only a few dogs with AHDS. Thus, the aim of our study was to describe in detail the distribution, character, and grade of microscopic lesions, and to investigate the etiology of AHDS. Our study comprised 10 dogs with AHDS and 9 control dogs of various breeds, age, and sex. Endoscopic biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract were taken and examined histologically (H&E, Giemsa), immunohistochemically (Clostridium spp., parvovirus), and bacteriologically. The main findings were acute necrotizing and neutrophilic enterocolitis (9 of 10) with histologic detection of clostridia-like, gram-positive bacteria on the necrotic mucosal surface (9 of 10). Clostridium perfringens isolated from the duodenum was identified as type A (5 of 5) by multiplex PCR (5 of 5). In addition, each of the 5 genotyped isolates encoded the pore-forming toxin netF. Clostridium spp. (not C. perfringens) were cultured from duodenal biopsies in 2 of 9 control dogs. These findings suggest that the pore-forming netF toxin is responsible for the necrotizing lesions in the intestines of a significant proportion of dogs with AHDS. Given that the stomach was not involved in the process, the term acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome seems more appropriate than the frequently used term hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.