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Ciência Rural

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FERREIRA, Thais Sebastiana Porfida et al. Molecular typing of Clostridium perfringens isolated from swine in slaughterhouses from São Paulo State, Brazil. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.8, pp.1450-1456. ISSN 0103-8478.

Clostridium perfringens is an anaerobic Gram-positive bacterium known as common pathogen for humans, for domestic and wildlife animals. Although infections caused by C. perfringens type C and A in swine are well studied, just a few reports describe the genetic relationship among strains in the epidemiological chain of swine clostridioses, as well as the presence of the microorganism in the slaughterhouses. The aim of the present study was to isolate C. perfringens from feces and carcasses from swine slaughterhouses, characterize the strains in relation to the presence of enterotoxin, alpha, beta, epsilon, iota and beta-2 toxins genes, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and comparing strains by means of Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Clostridium perfringens isolation frequencies in carcasses and finishing pig intestines were of 58.8% in both types of samples. According to the polymerase chain reaction assay, only alfa toxin was detected, being all isolates also negative to enterotoxin and beta2 toxin. Through PFGE technique, the strains were characterized in 35 pulsotypes. In only one pulsotype, the isolate from carcass sample was grouped with fecal isolate of the same animal, suggesting that the risk of cross-contamination was low. Despite the high prevalence of C. perfringens in swine carcasses from the slaughterhouses assessed, the risk of food poisoning to Brazilian pork consumers is low, since all strains were negative to cpe-gene, codifying enterotoxin.

Keywords : Clostridium perfringens; swine; slaughterhouse; PFGE; carcass; toxins.

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