Fatal Clostridium sordellii-mediated hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteropathy in a dog: case report

Capewell, P. , Rupp, A., Fuentes, M. , McDonald, M. and Weir, W. (2020) Fatal Clostridium sordellii-mediated hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteropathy in a dog: case report. BMC Veterinary Research, 16(1), 152. (doi: 10.1186/s12917-020-02362-y) (PMID:32448314) (PMCID:PMC7245850)

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Background: Canine hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (also canine gastrointestinal hemorrhagic syndrome) is commonly associated with Clostridium perfringens, although in some cases the etiology remains unclear. This report describes a fatal acute hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteropathy in a dog associated with Clostridium sordellii, a bacterial species never before identified as the etiological agent of hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteropathy in dogs. Case presentation: A fully vaccinated, eight-year-old, female neutered Labrador presented with a history of vomiting without diarrhea. Clinical examination revealed pink mucous membranes, adequate hydration, normothermia, and normocardia. The dog was discovered deceased the following day. Post-mortem examination showed moderate amounts of dark red, non-clotted fluid within the stomach that extended into the jejunum. Discoloration was noted in the gastric mucosa, liver, lungs, and kidneys, with small petechial hemorrhages present in the endocardium over the right heart base and thymic remnants. Histological analysis demonstrated that the gastric fundic mucosa, the pyloric region, small intestine, and large intestine exhibited superficial coagulative necrosis and were lined with a layer of short Gram-positive rods. Anaerobic culture of the gastric content revealed C. sordellii as the dominant bacterial species and neither Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., C. perfringens, nor C. difficile were isolated. Unexpectedly, whole genome sequencing of the C. sordellii isolate showed that it lacked the main plasmid-encoded virulence factors typical of the species, indicating that the genetic determinants of pathogenicity of this strain must be chromosomally encoded. Further phylogenetic analysis revealed it to be genetically similar to C. sordellii isolates associated with gastroenteric disease in livestock, indicating that the infection may have been acquired from the environment. Conclusions: This case demonstrates that C. sordellii can associate with a canine hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteropathy in the absence of C. perfringens and illustrates the benefits of using bacterial whole genome sequencing to support pathological investigations in veterinary diagnostics. These data also update the molecular phylogeny of C. sordellii, indicating a possible pathogenic clade in the environment that is distinct from currently identified clades.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Case report, bacteriology, bacterial toxins, Clostridium sordellii, Clostridium perfringens, dog diseases, genomics, hemorrhagic gastroenteropathy, hemorrhagic canine gastroenteritis.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fuentes, Mr Manuel and Weir, Professor Willie and Capewell, Dr Paul and McDonald, Mr Mike and Rupp, Dr Angie
Authors: Capewell, P., Rupp, A., Fuentes, M., McDonald, M., and Weir, W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Veterinary Research
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1746-6148
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Veterinary Research 16(1):152
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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