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Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2586-2597; doi:10.3390/toxins7072586

Veal Calves Produce Less Antibodies against C. Perfringens Alpha Toxin Compared to Beef Calves

1
Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
2
Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
3
Unit for Coordination of Veterinary Diagnosis, Epidemiology and Risk Assessment (CVD-ERA), Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (VAR-CODA-CERVA), Groeselenberg 99, 1180 Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michel R. Popoff
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
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Abstract

Enterotoxaemia is a disease with a high associated mortality rate, affecting beef and veal calves worldwide, caused by C. perfringens alpha toxin and perfringolysin. A longitudinal study was conducted to determine the dynamics of antibodies against these toxins in 528 calves on 4 beef and 15 veal farms. The second study aimed to determine the effect of solid feed intake on the production of antibodies against alpha toxin and perfringolysin. The control group only received milk replacer, whereas in the test group solid feed was provided. Maternal antibodies for alpha toxin were present in 45% of the veal calves and 66% of the beef calves. In beef calves a fluent transition from maternal to active immunity was observed for alpha toxin, whereas almost no veal calves developed active immunity. Perfringolysin antibodies significantly declined both in veal and beef calves. In the second study all calves were seropositive for alpha toxin throughout the experiment and solid feed intake did not alter the dynamics of alpha and perfringolysin antibodies. In conclusion, the present study showed that veal calves on a traditional milk replacer diet had significantly lower alpha toxin antibodies compared to beef calves in the risk period for enterotoxaemia, whereas no differences were noticed for perfringolysin. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpha toxin; antibodies; Clostridium perfringens; enterotoxaemia; perfringolysin; veal alpha toxin; antibodies; Clostridium perfringens; enterotoxaemia; perfringolysin; veal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Valgaeren, B.R.; Pardon, B.; Goossens, E.; Verherstraeten, S.; Roelandt, S.; Timbermont, L.; Vekens, N.V.D.; Stuyvaert, S.; Gille, L.; Van Driessche, L.; Haesebrouck, F.; Ducatelle, R.; Van Immerseel, F.; Deprez, P. Veal Calves Produce Less Antibodies against C. Perfringens Alpha Toxin Compared to Beef Calves. Toxins 2015, 7, 2586-2597.

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