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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379694

Research Project: Non-antibiotic Strategies to Control Enteric Diseases of Poultry

Location: Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory

Title: Role of Clostridium perfringens necrotic enteritis (NE) B-like toxin in NE pathogenesis

item LEE, KYUNG-WOO - Konkuk University
item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Avian Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2020
Publication Date: 6/17/2020
Citation: Lee, K., Lillehoj, H.S. 2020. Role of Clostridium perfringens necrotic enteritis (NE) B-like toxin in NE pathogenesis. Avian Pathology.

Interpretive Summary: There is an increasing interest to control enteric disorders without the use of antibiotics as the in-feed antibiotics had been successfully banned. Therefore, poultry industry needs to find novel integrated solutions to control enteric diseases of poultry. In this paper, an ARS scientist and a scientist at the Kunkuk University in South Korea discuss recent developments in understanding and diagnosing of necrotic enteritis (NE) in chickens since this is one of gut infections that affects worldwide poultry industry in the post-antibiotic era. In this paper, the authors describe one of the most virulent toxins involved in NE, NE B-like (NetB) toxin, and the development of sensitive assay for early detection of this toxin in the field samples in large scale. Early detection strategy that is sensitive and specific against Clostridium perfringens NetB toxin will reduce mortality associated with NE and will allow timely prevention of NE in poultry farms.

Technical Abstract: Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a devastating enteric disease caused by Clostridium perfringens type A/G AND impacts global poultry industry by compromising performance, health and welfare of the chickens. Major contributing factor to NE has been shown to be a pre-exposure to Eimeria spp. As to NE pathogenesis, the main virulent factor has been shifted from a-toxin, which is chromosome-encoded phospholipase C enzyme, to NE B-like (NetB) toxin, plasmid-encoded pore-forming heptameric protein. Since the discovery of NetB toxin, the occurrence or prevalence of NetB positive C. perfringens strains in NE-afflicted poultry flocks has been reported globally. It is generally accepted from many NE case studies that NetB toxin is a primary virulent factor in NE pathogenesis although scientific evidences are emerging to suggest that there are other toxins that contribute to NE. Because of the complex nature of host-pathogen interaction in NE pathogenesis, interaction of NetB with other potential virulent factors which are secreted from C. perfringens need to be better characterized. This short review will summarize the primary virulent factors involved in NE pathogenesis with emphasis on NetB toxin and its practical detection in biological samples from NE-afflicted broiler flocks. Finally, future research gaps for NE studies will be briefly discussed.