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Sindern, Natalie; Suchodolski, Jan S.; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Gohari, Iman Mehdizadeh; Prescott, John F.; Proksch, Anna-Lena; Müller, Ralf S.; Busch, Kathrin and Unterer, Stefan (2019): Prevalence of Clostridium perfringens netE and netF toxin genes in the feces of dogs with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 1: pp. 100-105

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Background Recently, novel pore-forming toxin genes designated netE and netF were identified in a Clostridium perfringens type A strain isolated from a dog with acute hemorrhagic diarrhea. Objectives Pore-forming toxins could play an important role in the disease pattern of acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS) in dogs. Thus, we aimed to determine the prevalence of C. perfringens genes encoding for netE and netF in the feces of dogs with AHDS and to evaluate any association between selected clinical variables and the presence of these toxin genes. Animals In total, 174 dogs were included in the study. Methods Fecal samples of all dogs were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction for netE and netF genes. Time to recovery, hospitalization time, and selected laboratory variables were compared between dogs with AHDS that were positive or negative for the toxin genes. Results A significant difference was found among the 3 groups in the prevalence of the pore-forming toxin genes netE and netF: dogs with AHDS: 26 of 54 (48.1%);dogs with canine parvovirus (CPV) infection: 0 of 54 (0%);and healthy dogs: 8 of 66 (12.1%;P < .001). In dogs with AHDS, no significant difference was detected in any variables evaluated between netE-positive and netF-positive and netE-negative and netF-negative dogs. Conclusions and Clinical Importance The prevalence of C. perfringens encoding for netE and netF is significantly higher in dogs with AHDS compared to control dogs. Further studies are warranted to evaluate whether these toxins are an inciting cause for AHDS in dogs.

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