2009 - 2012

Elucidation of critical characteristics of Clostridium perfringens and pathogen-host-environment interactions defining susceptibility of poultry to necrotic enteritis

Principal Investigator: Andrew Olkowski and Bernard Laarveld, University of Saskatchewan
Status: Completed


The pathogen commonly associated with necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry is Clostridium perfringens type A. Although as causative organism these bacteria have been defined relatively well, there are considerable gaps in knowledge on their specific characteristics. Recent research provides evidence that alpha toxin is not a major factor (if any) in etiology of NE. Recent findings provide a new model for future research to unravel the previously unknown molecular mechanisms involved in the lesion development, and to characterize novel virulence factors that appear to play a crucial role in the development of this disease. The long-term objective of this study is to define the factors and mechanisms generated by C. perfringens that on one hand play a crucial role in the initiation of the necrotic lesion, and on the other hand force the host system to generate self-destructive enzymes that further perpetuate tissue degeneration leading to necrotic enteritis.


$204,488 (CPRC $89,402, NSERC $97,746, Lilydale (in-kind) $17,340)

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