Prevalence of Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin and dysbiosis in fecal samples of dogs with diarrhea. Academic Article uri icon


  • Clostridium perfringens has been suspected as an enteropathogen in dogs. However, its exact role in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in dogs remains unknown. Recent studies suggest the importance of an altered intestinal microbiota in the activation of virulence factors of enteropathogens. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between diarrhea, dysbiosis, and the presence of C. perfringens and its enterotoxin (CPE). Fecal samples were collected prospectively from 95 healthy control dogs and 104 dogs with GI disease and assessed for bacterial abundances and the presence of CPE using quantitative PCR and ELISA, respectively. C. perfringens was detected in all dogs. Potentially enterotoxigenic C. perfringens were detected in 33.7% (32/95) of healthy control dogs and 48.1% (50/104) diseased dogs, respectively. CPE was detected by ELISA in 1.0% (1/95) of control dogs and 16.3% (17/104) of diseased dogs. Abundances of Fusobacteria, Ruminococcaceae, Blautia, and Faecalibacterium were significantly decreased in diseased dogs, while abundances of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Escherichia coli were significantly increased compared to control dogs. The microbial dysbiosis was independent of the presence of the enterotoxigenic C. perfringens or CPE. In conclusion, the presence of CPE as well as fecal dysbiosis was associated with GI disease. However, the presence of C. perfringens was not indicative of GI disease in all cases of diarrhea, and the observed increased abundance of enterotoxigenic C. perfringens may be part of intestinal dysbiosis occurring in GI disease. The significance of an intestinal dysbiosis in dogs with GI disease deserves further attention.

published proceedings

  • Vet Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Minamoto, Y., Dhanani, N., Markel, M. E., Steiner, J. M., & Suchodolski, J. S.

citation count

  • 63

complete list of authors

  • Minamoto, Yasushi||Dhanani, Naila||Markel, Melissa E||Steiner, Jörg M||Suchodolski, Jan S

publication date

  • December 2014