Infectious nature of Clostridium spiroforme-mediated rabbit enterotoxaemia.

Veterinary microbiology

PubMedID: 6495610

Carman RJ, Borriello SP. Infectious nature of Clostridium spiroforme-mediated rabbit enterotoxaemia. Vet Microbiol. 1984;9(5):497-502.
Newly weaned rabbits had diarrhoea only if they were infected with Clostridium spiroforme. In adult rabbits exposure to both clindamycin and C. spiroforme was necessary to induce disease. All diseased animals harboured C. spiroforme and its toxin. Adult rabbits given a course of clindamycin survived when held in a protected environment as did those challenged with C. spiroforme alone. At necropsy none of these apparently healthy animals showed signs of diarrhoea or caecitis. These findings suggest that, in the development of enterotoxaemia, weaning or clindamycin treatment and infection with C. spiroforme are separate events and that disease follows infection with this organism from the environment, as opposed to overgrowth by undetectable levels of C. spiroforme resident in the gut. Our data indicate that C. spiroforme is not a normal component of the rabbit gut flora and that the normal bowel ecology of the adult must be disrupted before C. spiroforme will colonize.