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Open Access Open Badges Original article

Survival of Clostridium perfringens During Simulated Transport and Stability of Some Plasmid-borne Toxin Genes under Aerobic Conditions

A Johansson1*, BE Engström1, J Frey2, K-E Johansson13 and V Båverud1

  • * Corresponding author: A Johansson

Author Affiliations

1 National Veterinary Institute, SE-751 89 Uppsala, Sweden

2 Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern, Laenggass-Str. 122, CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland

3 Division of Food Hygiene and Bacteriology, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2005, 46:241-247  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-46-241

Published: 31 December 2005


Clostridium perfringens is a pathogen of great concern in veterinary medicine, because it causes enteric diseases and different types of toxaemias in domesticated animals. It is important that bacteria in tissue samples, which have been collected in the field, survive and for the classification of C. perfringens into the correct toxin group, it is crucial that plasmid-borne genes are not lost during transportation or in the diagnostic laboratory. The objectives of this study were to investigate the survival of C. perfringens in a simulated transport of field samples and to determine the stability of the plasmid-borne toxin genes cpb1 and etx after storage at room temperature and at 4°C. Stability of the plasmid-borne genes cpb1 and etx of C. perfringens CCUG 2035, and cpb2 from C. perfringens CIP 106526, JF 2255 and 6 field isolates in aerobic atmosphere was also studied. Survival of C. perfringens was similar in all experiments. The cpb1 and etx genes were detected in all isolates from samples stored either at room temperature or at 4°C for 24–44 h. Repeated aerobic treatment of C. perfringens CCUG 2035 and CIP 106526 did not result in the loss of the plasmid-borne genes cpb1, cpb2 or etx. Plasmid-borne genes in C. perfringens were found to be more stable than generally reported. Therefore, C. perfringens toxinotyping by PCR can be performed reliably, as the risk of plasmid loss seems to be a minor problem.

Clostridium perfringens; survival; plasmid-borne genes; stability