During the winter of 2006, outbreaks of severe entritis affected many broiler farms in the AL-Fayoum governorate, south of Cairo, Egypt. To identify the causative agent(s), bacterial isolates (14) from the diseased chickens were characterized phenotypically and biochemically. All isolates exhibited characteristics of Clostridium perfringens. Subsequently, molecular typing of the bacterial isolates was performed by multiplex PCR using four sets of primers specific for the genes encoding the C. perfringens α, β, ε and ι toxins, respectively. A single amplicon, corresponding in size to the alpha (α) toxin-encoding gene (approximately 402 bp), was amplified from all the bacterial isolates. It was therefore concluded that only C. perfringens type A was responsible for the disease outbreaks.
Key words: Clostridium perfringens- necrotic entritis – broiler chicken – multiplex PCR.
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