Clostridium spp

From Dog
Clostridium difficile under electron microscopy[1]

Clostridium spp are a commensal anaerobic Gram-positive zoonotic bacteria normally present as part of the oropharynx[2] and gastrointestinal microbiome but can causes enteritis and tetanus in dogs worldwide[3].

All species form endospores and have a strictly fermentative type of metabolism. Most clostridia will not grow under aerobic conditions and vegetative cells are killed by exposure to O2, but their spores are able to survive long periods of exposure to air[4]. The numbers of Clostridium spp present in the canine microbiome is unaffected by prebiotic supplementation[5][6].

Species of Clostridia which are reported in dogs include:

Clostridia are able to ferment a wide variety of organic compounds, producing foul smelling compounds, characteristic of the disease.

During bacterial floral changes, some Clostridia can ascend the bile duct due to some predisposing pathology, such as inflammatory bowel disease, cholestasis, gallbladder stones, chronic pancreatitis, immunosuppression, or altered gut motility[23].

Clostridium spp bacteria are also capable of causing systemic illness such as hepatitis[24].

Diagnosis can be performed by routine laboratory culture, fluorescent antibody technique (FAT), ELISA or definitively with PCR assays[25].

Most Clostridium spp are sensitive to broad-spectrum antimicrobials such as amoxycillin/clavulanate[26], ampicillin, erythromycin, metronidazole, and tylosin[27].

Resistant strains such as C. difficile require vancomycin[28].

Disinfection of kennels is important for limiting spread to other dogs. C. difficile and C. perfringens are alcohol-resistant, but susceptible to bleach[29].


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